Grimm is one of the NRCC's first targets with an independent expenditure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
The flood gates opened Tuesday when the House campaign committees began the barrage of fall television advertisements.
Exactly a year ago, CQ Roll Call predicted the House’s fall campaign ad wars would begin as early as mid-August, creeping back a few weeks from the traditional start around Labor Day. Now the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and several top tier House candidates rolled out their first television spots of the cycle.
To be sure, some House candidates and outside groups have already been airing general election spots. But these new television ads mark the committee’s first major independent expenditures of the season — and the start of the campaign airwaves war that will only intensify through November.
New York’s 11th District Incumbent: GOP Rep. Michael G. Grimm
The DCCC’s attack ad is a complete visual and audio montage of negative reports about Grimm’s ongoing legal troubles. The Democratic challenger is former New York City Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. CQ Roll Call previously reported the DCCC will spend $950,000 on New York City cable from Aug. 12 to Oct. 13.
New Jersey’s 3rd District
Incumbent: retiring GOP Rep. Jon Runyan
The DCCC’s ad slams Republican Tom MacArthur, who faces the Democrat nominee, Aimee Belgard. The DCCC has reserved $650,000 on Philadelphia cable from Aug. 12 to Nov. 4, and $640,000 on New York City cable from Aug. 12 to Nov. 4. These two markets make this district one of the most expensive in the country to air campaign ads.
Florida’s 2nd District Incumbent: GOP Rep. Steve Southerland II
His challenger, Democrat Gwen Graham, was up early with a positive ad campaign. Now, House Republicans are aiming to tar her on Panama City broadcast television by tying her with President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and all things Washington.
“Gwen Graham talks about ‘the North Florida way,’” a woman says.
“But she sure acts the D.C. way,” an older man follows up.
Georgia’s 12th District Incumbent: Democratic Rep. John Barrow
The NRCC is scheduled to air television spots targeting Barrow Friday with an independent expenditure. But Barrow has pre-empted their attack with his own positive spot in Georgia’s 12th District.
“Somebody [President Harry S. Truman] once said, if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog,” he said. “Well, I wouldn’t wish Washington on a dog.”
Barrow’s 2012 ad series is credited with saving his political career.
Arizona’s 2nd District Incumbent: Rep. Ron Barber
Martha McSally’s new, minute-long ad tells the story of her lawsuit against then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Her time in the military is featured prominently in the spot, which also attempts to appeal to female voters.
New York’s 21st District Incumbent: retiring Democratic Rep. Bill Owens
Democrat Aaron Woolf has a released a new spot in his bid against Republican Elise Stefanik in the upstate New York seat.