Breaking Down the DCCC’s Fall TV Reservation

Rep. Steve Israel, DCCC Chairman Interview Goldmacher
National Journal
Scott Bland
See more stories about...
Scott Bland
May 29, 2014, 7:45 a.m.

The DCCC rolled out over $43 mil­lion in fall TV re­ser­va­tions today, set­ting the table for this year’s gen­er­al elec­tion. Here’s what we saw in­side the list:

— First things first: This round of re­ser­va­tions breaks down al­most evenly between Re­pub­lic­an- and Demo­crat­ic-held dis­tricts. The re­ser­va­tions are for mar­kets with 20 Dem seats and 19 GOP ones, a split that high­lights how dif­fi­cult the path to­ward a Demo­crat­ic House ma­jor­ity is — but also the race-by-race nature of this year’s House. The polit­ic­al en­vir­on­ment fa­vors the GOP, but not to such an over­whelm­ing de­gree that loc­al cam­paign char­ac­ter­ist­ics are out­weighed.

— Also, these re­ser­va­tions aren’t a per­fect ba­ro­met­er for the land­scape’s com­pet­it­ive­ness. Rep. Chris Gib­son‘s (R) NY-19 is miss­ing, for ex­ample, though both parties think it’s a com­pet­it­ive dis­trict. A TV buy could come later, or Dems may make the cal­cu­la­tion that self-fund­ing Sean Eldridge (D) is cap­able of tak­ing care of him­self. But if oth­er touted po­ten­tial Demo­crat­ic tar­gets, like Rep. Joe Heck (NV-03), stay off the list of re­ser­va­tions in the fu­ture, that’s a bad sign for their pro­spects. Sev­er­al dis­tricts that seem on their faces like big­ger Dem reaches than sub­urb­an Ve­gas made today’s list, in­clud­ing ones in Arkan­sas and Michigan.

— Lastly, early re­ser­va­tions al­low TV buy­ers to se­cure low rates be­fore ad­vert­ising floods in and prices go up in the fall. But that doesn’t mean any­thing is guar­an­teed. An­oth­er way to save is to trim buys in ex­pens­ive mar­kets and try to get more for the money in mul­tiple, less ex­pens­ive dis­tricts. Last cycle, for ex­ample, the DCCC’s late money-mov­ing stripped ex­pens­ive Phil­adelphia out of its spend­ing plan and ad­ded places like Palm Springs, where Raul Ruiz (D-CA) ended up win­ning. As races cla­ri­fy in the fall, how much of com­mit­tee’s $2.8 mil­lion in DC for VA-10 and $2.5 mil­lion in Philly for three PA and NJ dis­tricts will stay on­line?

See the full break­down of DCCC TV re­ser­va­tions be­low. It’s not fi­nal, but it’s a new, de­tailed data set on what we can ex­pect to hap­pen in the fall.
— Scott Bland

What We're Following See More »
More People Watched Trump’s Acceptance Speech
1 days ago

Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.