The National Republican Campaign Committee has launched a TV ad blitz targeting 45 districts this week, marking the first time Republicans have been on the air in as many districts as they will need to take back control of the House. Republicans are spending big on the effort, dishing out $4.4 million on the ad buys this week.
The blitz is significant because, like last week, Republicans are spending much more on the airwaves than Democrats. The ads are part of the GOP's strategy of going on the attack early in an attempt to lock up seats. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on the other hand, is reserving the bulk of its resources for the final couple of weeks before Election Day.
The ads -- 25 of which are brand new -- come a week after the NRCC went up in 30 districts. The NRCC has planned to spend $35 million on TV ads in 55 districts so far.
The NRCC is targeting 17 Democrats with ad buys of $100,000 or more. It is spending the most targeting Michigan Democratic Rep. Mark Schauer. The NRCC is spending $365,000 there, on top of the $352,000 it spent there last week. Schauer is facing a rematch against former GOP Rep. Tim Walberg.
The NRCC is also spending $243,000 targeting Rep. John Boccieri, D-Ohio, for the first time. Boccieri is considered a top-tier target for the GOP. He is running against businessman Jim Renacci.
Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-Fla., is another Democrat the NRCC is spending big on for the first time. Republicans are up with $215,000 worth of ads against Kosmas. The NRCC also broke the $200,000 mark in Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson's neighboring Orlando-area district, where it doled out $219,000.
There are new targets among the group this week. Most notably, the NRCC dished out $154,000 hitting Democratic state Sen. Mike Oliverio, who defeated outgoing Rep. Alan Mollohan in the Democratic primary. The GOP is also attacking Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., for the first time with $126,000.
Other districts where the GOP is spending big represent incumbents that have been targets all cycle. The NRCC is targeting Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., with $186,000, Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., with $133,000, Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., with $145,000 and Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., with $134,000. The NRCC spent big in these districts last week as well.
The GOP also continues to spend big on the open seat in Michigan's 1st District, where Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak is retiring. The NRCC dished out $182,000 on an attack on Democratic state Rep. Gary McDowell. The NRCC spent $180,000 in the district last week as well.
This article appears in the October 9, 2010 edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.