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The National Republican Congressional Committee will go up with television and digital ads in three districts this week targeting Democratic incumbents the committee hopes to pick off in 2016, according to a source with knowledge of the buys.
The NRCC will spend a combined six-figure sum on a month’s worth of ads hitting Democratic Reps. Scott Peters, Brad Ashford and Rick Nolan on national security issues, according to the source. The early buy is a sign Republicans will still play offense against vulnerable House Democrats in 2016, even as the GOP defends a number of seats Democrats often carry in presidential cycles.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will announce Thursday the first 14 members who will join its Frontline program for the party’s most vulnerable incumbents, according to an early copy of a news release obtained by CQ Roll Call.
The incumbents represent competitive districts, making them likely GOP targets in 2016. The Frontline program,which Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., is chairman of, provides these members with fundraising and organizational support for their re-elections.
As a national Republican wave crested on Election Day, there were several campaigns in both parties that stood out as outstanding operations.
The GOP expanded its House majority and obtained control of the Senate. As a result, more Republican campaigns emerged deserving of the spotlight. But there were also several Democratic operations worthy of recognition.
Roll Call has compiled a list of the cream of the crop of 2014. Many faced long odds, crowded primaries, an unpopular president and millions in targeted attack ads. But through all that and more, these campaigns ably managed the curves of the cycle — and all but one were victorious.
In alphabetical order by candidate, here are the best congressional campaigns of the midterms: Full story
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added an additional $1.3 million in ad buys Friday in five districts to boost incumbents with increasingly challenging re-election races.
The cash injection comes 11 days before voters head to the polls and signals House Democrats are increasingly fearful they could see double-digit losses on election night.
Here are the five districts where the DCCC is adding airtime:
House Democrats continue to bolster their incumbents, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee expanding its defensive spending.
Most notably, the DCCC is spending more in support of Democratic Reps. Collin C. Peterson in Minnesota and Dave Loebsack in Iowa, races that are only in recent days coming to the forefront of the House map.
Here are the changes, made as both parties re-evaluate their chances with two weeks to go until Election Day:
House Republicans are on track to make gains this cycle, but two weeks before Election Day, it’s still unclear whether the party will procure a wave of double-digit gains in their quest to extend the majority.
Members of Congress and operatives alike note this is a toxic time for Democrats on the ballot that should result in huge losses for the president’s party. But a race-by-race evaluation of the House map shows Republicans are more likely in a position to pick up a net of around six seats this cycle.
“After two successful cycles for House Republicans, the playing field confines the upper limits of pickups that can be had,” said Brock McCleary, a Republican pollster.
Public surveys show President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, as events in the Middle East and Ebola on the home front drag down Democrats coast to coast. House Democrats are defending more seats than Republicans this cycle.
But this midterm is shaping up to be one of the most perplexing in recent memory. Both parties are on offense, and both parties are on defense. In private polling, dozens of races are too close to call. Given the unpredictability, it’s also possible the next 14 days could exacerbate Democratic losses.
Here’s why most political operatives estimate Republican will have a net gain in the mid-single digits:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has started to pull back its advertising buys in several congressional districts around the country, according to an aide.
At this point in the cycle, the cancellations — also known as “triage” — serve as a signal the party does not see a path to victory for these candidates or races. House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, has already pulled some of its buys in the same districts.
For now, House Democrats are only canceling airtime reservations in open-seat races or offensive opportunities. In some cases, the DCCC is still airing advertisements in some of the affected races for the next couple weeks.
In addition to the cancellations, the DCCC is also moving money to other districts, including other open-seat opportunities, districts held by Democrats and one GOP incumbent target.
House Democrats must net 17 seats to win the majority, but it’s more likely they will lose seats in November. These cuts allow the DCCC to use the party’s resources in other reasons where the party has a higher likelihood of winning.
The cancellations include:
Welcome to the general election: Labor Day has passed, nearly every primary has finished, and Roll Call has revised its monthly list of the 10 most vulnerable House members.
Since this feature last published in August, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., lost his primary by a wide margin, while Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., barely survived his, defeating his primary foe by 38 votes.
That opened up two spots in the Top 10 — and there are a plethora of choices this cycle to fill their spots, plus more honorable mentions below.
House Democrats must net 17 seats to win the majority. But most of the names below are Democrats, symbolic of a cycle increasingly favorable to Republicans.
For now, here are the 10 most vulnerable House members in alphabetical order:
Minnesota Democrats have two problems: The 8th District has changed, and Rep. Rick Nolan doesn’t want to.
The Gopher State Democrat returned to Congress in 2012 after a three-decade hiatus. This November, Nolan faces first-time candidate and wealthy businessman Stewart Mills in a historically strong Democratic district that encompasses Minnesota’s Iron Range.
But the district has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and sources from both parties question Nolan’s willingness to adapt to the requirements of a high-stakes, 21st century re-election campaign. Democrats highlight Nolan’s strong retail campaign skills and say they admire his principles — but others say a modern re-election requires more than that.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee moved Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota to its Frontline program — a reflection of growing concern over his re-election prospects.
The Frontline program is for House Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbents.
Nolan’s opponent for Minnesota’s 8th District is GOP businessman Stewart Mills. The move came after second-quarter campaign fundraising reports revealed that Mills raised more money than Nolan in April, May and June.
Mo’ money, mo’ problems? That’s the case for a few deep-pocketed House candidates, whose affluence has become a political issue in the districts they seek this November.
Wealth is commonplace in Congress, where one-third of the members are worth more than $1 million. But this cycle, at least four candidates running in competitive House districts boast a personal net worth in excess of $8 million, according to financial disclosure forms. And in the final months of the midterms, their opponents have found ways to use their means against them.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same playbook that sunk Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Last cycle, Democrats successfully used Romney’s estimated $250 million net worth — along with his career as a venture capitalist — to convince middle-class voters he didn’t have their best interests at heart. Hillary Rodham Clinton, considering a second presidential bid, has also taken heat recently for talking about financial struggles, despite the hefty speaking fees she earns and her relatively newfound riches.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $30 million in television airtime this fall, signaling it is preparing to go on offense in 17 districts and defend nine more.
The NRCC has put its marker down in many of the same House districts as its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It’s a good indicator of which races both parties think will be most competitive in November.
But there are a few competitive districts not included in the NRCC’s initial reservations, such as Iowa’s 3rd District — an open seat currently held by a Republican that is one of this cycle’s few Tossup races.
Also, the NRCC’s television reservations total $13.5 million less than what the DCCC has already reserved for this fall. The committees will likely shift and add more airtime as individual races develop during the rest of the cycle.
But the DCCC has raised more money than the NRCC this cycle. As of the end of April, the DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank, while the NRCC had $32.3 million.
Here are the districts where the NRCC has already reserved airtime for this fall:
It’s a bio spot explaining why he decided to run for political office. Mills describes his “Hunting Camp Doctrine,” a family rule that if you complain about something, then it’s your responsibility to fix it.
“Well I’m fed up with Washington, the bickering, the debt, Obamacare,” Mills says in the 30-second ad. “Instead of complaining, I’m going to fight to fix it.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $43.5 million in television airtime in dozens of targeted House districts this fall — a signal the party is attempting to play defense and offense in a challenging midterm cycle.
The money is split across 36 districts, including 17 pickup opportunities, according to a DCCC aide. More districts and more money could be added to the reservations as the cycle progresses, the aide said.
The DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank at the end of April and has raised more than its Republican counterpart by large margins this cycle. The committee ended April with an $11 million cash-on-hand advantage over the National Republican Congressional Committee.
These ad reservations give insight into which members Democrats see as vulnerable, and which seats the DCCC sees as the best possibility to take in November. They also signal to outside groups where the the party might need help on the airwaves this fall.
However, parties can cancel or change these reservations until shortly before the advertisements air in most cases.
Here are the districts where the DCCC has reserved airtime:
Minnesota Republican Stewart Mills went up on air Monday with a bio spot touting his commitment to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Mills, whose family owns a popular hunting and sporting goods chain in the Midwest, says in the 30-second spot that he helps run the business’ healthcare program for the companies’ “thousands of employees” and therefore knows the healthcare overhaul needs to be replaced. Full story