An Advantage for the GOP: Cheap Districts

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Hotline OnCall has compiled a list of all the districts in which the National Republican Congressional Committee is planning to buy TV airtime for GOP candidates, and Jeremy Jacobs takes a deeper look, finding that Republicans are going on the offensive in districts where airtime is cheap, while Democrats play defense in more expensive districts:


Several of the top targets for the NRCC lie in inexpensive media markets and are districts that voted for John McCain in 2008. A few examples: Reps. Bobby Bright (D) in AL-2, Allen Boyd in FL-2, Harry Teague in NM-2, Travis Childers in MS-1 and Jim Marshall in GA-8. The Dakotas - Reps. Earl Pomeroy in ND-AL and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in SD-AL - are also cheap places to air ads and both are on the NRCC's list.

In Ben Chandler's (D) in KY-6, one senior GOP operative noted that they can stay up on the air there for $75,000 per week - a relatively low figure. "[GOP nominee] Andy Barr can go up for six weeks on TV without a sweat," said the operative...

Having more money - as the Dems do - is always better than having less. But if you look at how much the NRCC is planning to spend per race compared to the DCCC, they are approaching parity. Divide the DCCC's $49M by the 60 CDs in which it plans to air ads and you get $816K per district. Divide the NRCC's planned $22M by the 40 CDs, and you get $550K per district. That, when the cost of the media markets is taken into account, could help level the playing field.

As of June 30, the DCCC had $33.7 million in the bank, while the NRCC had $17 million.
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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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