House Democrats’ super PAC adds $11M in fall ad buysAugust 31, 2020
House Democrats’ main super PAC is booking an additional $11 million fall TV ad reservations across 17 markets, zeroing in on several new offensive targets in the Midwest.
The new spending, which includes broadcast and cable, brings House Majority PAC’s total investment to $86 million and further underscores the party’s plans to grow its majority, even while defending dozens of Democratic incumbents.
Among the new reservations: $1 million in the Cincinnati market where Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) faces a well-funded challenge from Democrat Kate Schroder; $1.3 million in St. Louis, a buy that could target Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) as well as Rodney Davis (R-Ill.); and $1 million in the Indianapolis market, which covers an open seat vacated by retiring Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.).
All four seats are emerging as top pickup opportunities for Democrats, who hope President Donald Trump’s sliding poll numbers open up fresh suburban territory.
“We will expand and protect the Democratic majority,” said HMP executive director Abby Curran Horrell, “by making sure voters know which candidates will support a national strategy to address Covid, fight for access to affordable health care and reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and which candidates will prioritize Donald Trump over everything else.”
The group, which is closely aligned with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), is acting in tandem with other allied outside spenders. The independent expenditure arm of EMILY’s List recently placed its first buy in the Indianapolis district, where it has endorsed Democrat Christina Hale, the 2016 lieutenant governor nominee. And the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week made six-figure buys in both Indianapolis and St. Louis.
Democrats netted 40 seats in the 2018 midterms, sweeping through the suburbs on their way back to grabbing control of the Chamber. And their majority looks largely secure, thanks to impressive off-year fundraising by vulnerable Democratic freshmen and a tough political environment for Republicans. Party leaders say building an offensive map is also a key part of their 2020 strategy, and they have landed well-funded recruits in several GOP-held seats.
HMP also booked an $3.2 million in Los Angeles market, a sign it is serious about helping Democrat Christy Smith in her rematch with Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.), who won a May special election for the district and gave Republicans their first California pickup over two decades. It also reserved an extra $675,000 across three markets that cover the southern Minnesota held by Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-Minn.), a big bet on Democrat Dan Feehan, who is back for a rematch after losing narrowly in 2018.
And it is plowing $1.3 million in the Atlanta market, which covers the district held by Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) and an open suburban seat that Republicans won by fewer than 500 votes in 2018. It is also reserving another $1.3 million in the Philadelphia market, which spans the districts of Reps. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Susan Wild (D-Pa.) and Andy Kim (D-N.J.).
The group also upped its investment with smaller buys in a handful of places, including $175,000 in Central Valley markets covering Rep. T.J. Cox’s (D-Calif.) district; $200,000 in Upstate New York to help Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.); $300,000 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which is represented by Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa); $340,000 in Salt Lake City for Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah); $315,000 in the Savannah, Ga., market, likely for Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.); and $120,000 in the New York City market.
Full list of new reservations:
— Atlanta: $1.3 million
— Bakersfield, Calif.: $75,000
— Binghamton, N.Y.: $65,000
— Cedar Rapids, Iowa: $300,000
— Cincinnati: $1 million
— Fresno, Calif.: $100,000
— Indianapolis: $1 million
— La Crosse, Wis.: $175,000
— Los Angeles: $3.2 milion
— Mankato, Minn.: $200,000
— New York City: $120,000
— Philadelphia: $1.3 million
— Rochester, Minn.: $300,000
— Salt Lake City: $340,000
— Savannah, Ga.: $315,000
— St. Louis: $1.3 million
— Utica, N.Y.: $135,000