SPOTLIGHT

Political TV Premiere Season

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) speaks to the media, January 2, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. 
Scott Bland
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Scott Bland
Aug. 12, 2014, 7:45 a.m.

It’s that time of year: The party com­mit­tees are hit­ting the air­waves, join­ing can­did­ates and su­per PACs on TV. The NR­CC and DCCC got in­to the act today in three of this cycle’s most in­ter­est­ing GOP-held seats. — Re­pub­lic­an strategists con­sist­ently cite FL-02‘s Gwen Gra­ham (D) as the top Demo­crat­ic chal­lenger of the cycle, and now the NR­CC is mak­ing her the first tar­get of its fall in­de­pend­ent ex­pendit­ure pro­gram. One of Gra­ham’s strengths is her lack of a polit­ic­al re­cord, but that didn’t stop the NR­CC from con­nect­ing her to Obama­care and Nancy Pelosi. That’s been the GOP play­book against out­sider Demo­crats for the past few elec­tions, with mixed res­ults. — Mean­while, House Demo­crats headed to the north­east to launch their IE pro­gram. The DCCC isn’t run­ning ads against in­dicted Rep. Mi­chael Grimm (R) to run up the score; this race is far from over des­pite the Re­pub­lic­an’s leg­al troubles. That’s partly be­cause those troubles haven’t sank in yet in the crowded NYC me­dia mar­ket, which is what the DCCC is go­ing to spend its time and money on while Domen­ic Rec­chia (D) tries to over­come the gap between Staten Is­land, which dom­in­ates the dis­trict, and his ho­met­own Brook­lyn. — In NJ-03, a dis­trict with a long stretch of coast­line af­fected by Su­per­storm Sandy, the DCCC is pick­ing up where Tom Ma­cAr­thur‘s (R) primary op­pon­ent left off, hit­ting Ma­cAr­thur as a dis­aster in­sur­ance prof­it­eer. The ex­pens­ive Phil­adelphia me­dia mar­ket proved too costly for the DCCC to make a worth­wile TV in­vest­ment there last cycle, but open NJ-03 is prov­ing too en­ti­cing an op­por­tun­ity to pass up, even though Ma­cAr­thur’s per­son­al money gives him an ad­vant­age in the race. (Un­less the DCCC turns it in­to a weak­ness, that is.) Though all 3 tar­get dis­tricts are GOP-held, the IE cam­paigns will soon ex­pand in­to many Demo­crat­ic seats. And this com­mit­tee activ­ity ap­plies to the Sen­ate, too: The NR­SC re­leased a new spot in Geor­gia today link­ing Michelle Nunn (D) and Pres­id­ent Obama, and it’s set to be­gin ad­vert­ising in Iowa in two weeks, fol­low­ing the DSCC in­to the race. Around the coun­try, in the House and the Sen­ate, the gen­er­al elec­tion is truly here.— Scott Bland

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