The National Republican Congressional Committee filed a report on Friday detailing more than $4 million in independent-expenditure spending across 22 congressional districts. The ad blitz — which followed a big expenditure by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week — was almost perfectly split between offense and defense: The NRCC targeted 11 Republican-held districts and 10 Democratic-held districts, plus the member-versus-member seat in Iowa, in its latest round of spending.
Nearly all of the districts where the NRCC is playing early offense were carried by Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential contest. But three new additions to the offense list stand out, because the NRCC is going after Democrats in seats that were solidly blue four years ago. The committee is spending nearly $450,000 against Democratic Reps. Lois Capps, Bruce Braley, and Dave Loebsack (from California's 24th District and Iowa's 1st and 2nd Districts, respectively) and hitting each of them with new ads, even though they represent districts that President Obama carried with more than 55 percent of the vote in 2008.
While the GOP cleaned up in 2010 in Democratic-held districts Obama had lost, winning an astounding 36 of 48, Republican House candidates managed only eight victories that year in the 173 Democratic-held seats where Obama had won 55 percent or more.