House Democrats are going on defense in more races than previously expected, and now they are spending six figures to defend Rep. Steven Horsford in a supposedly safe Democratic district in Nevada, according to an announcement Wednesday.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reserved $360,000 of broadcast airtime in Las Vegas to defend Horsford as part of $1.4 million in final ad buys defending seven Democratic incumbents, according to a DCCC aide. The purchase is in response to a $935,000 ad buy from Crossroads GPS, the conservative nonprofit that has begun airing TV ads highlighting possible conflicts of interest during Horsford's years in the state Legislature.
Horsford faces Republican state Assemblyman Cresent Hardy, who was considered a low-profile challenger. Hardy struggled to win the Republican nomination to challenge Horsford and has only raised about one-fourth as much money as Horsford has this cycle. President Obama won this district, the 4th, by a 15-point margin in 2012.
But Democrats are worried about early voting numbers that show a major advantage for Republicans in Nevada. According to Nevada politics guru Jon Ralston, more Republicans than Democrats have cast ballots so far in the most populous portion of the district—one where Democrats have a big voter-registration advantage. Former President Clinton traveled to the district to rally support for Horsford on Tuesday.