The National Republican Congressional Committee is going on the air in more than 30 districts today, seeking to bring the fight to Democrats in many competitive districts.
The ads are part of the $35 million it has budgeted to spend this year in 55 districts so far.
The blitz is particularly significant because the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has yet to go on the air in the vast majority of those districts, choosing to save most of its resources for the final weeks of the campaign.
The majority of the districts the NRCC targeting are expected swing districts. The NRCC is spending the largest amount targeting Rep. Mark Schauer, D-Mich. It is allocating $352,000 on an ad that hits Schauer for voting to cut Medicare. Schauer is facing a rematch against former GOP Rep. Tim Walberg.
The NRCC is targeting nine other Democrats with ad buys of $100,000 or more. In Missouri, they are taking aim at Rep. Ike Skelton, a veteran conservative Democrat who was not considered vulnerable at the beginning of the cycle, with $183,000 worth of ad buys.
The buys show that open seats are a top priority early in the cycle for the NRCC, as it hopes to define the Democrat in each race. The NRCC is spending $180,000 on an ad that targets Democratic nominee Gary McDowell in the race for retiring Rep. Bart Stupak's Democratic seat in Michigan. The DCCC also went up with a $30,000 ad buy in the district this week, targeting GOP nominee Dan Benishek.
Similarly, the NRCC is spending big in the race for the Washington seat being vacated by Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat. Republicans are spending $173,000 on hitting former state Rep. Denny Heck, a Democrat. That ad is part of the $900,000 that Hotline On Call reported last week that the NRCC was planning to spend in the district.
The NRCC is also spending a little bit on the Illinois seat being vacated by GOP Rep. Mark Kirk, who is running for the Senate. The NRCC is spending $56,000 on an ad targeting Democratic nominee Dan Seals.
This article appears in the October 2, 2010, edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.