Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

DCCC Cancels Three Big City Buys: Philly, Boston and Chicago

House Democrats cut more than $1 million in television time in the Philadelphia market today in addition to eliminating major reservations in Boston and Chicago, according to a Democrat who tracks media buys.

The Philadelphia cancellation for Oct. 25-29 isn’t good news for two Democratic challengers running in districts covered by that pricey television market: Pennsylvania’s 8th district and New Jersey’s 3rd district.

The elimination comes just a week after the National Republican Congressional Committee cut its big buy in the Philadelphia market, too. It’s a sign these House races aren’t as competitive as party officials anticipate (Roll Call rates both as Leans Republican).

DCCC officials countered that challengers to GOP Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Jon Runyan (N.J.) didn’t need the help.

“With President Obama running strong in the Philadelphia suburbs and the NRCC following Mitt Romney and cutting out, we are confident that our strong Democratic challengers in the area will be able to capitalize on their opponents’ toxic records,” DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson said.

Also today, the DCCC cut back its reservations in two other expensive markets, Chicago and Boston, from Oct. 23-29, according to a Democrat who tracks media buys. In Chicago, the DCCC canceled its buys after a Democratic super PAC came in. It was unclear what the DCCC’s strategy was behind its reservation reduction in Boston.

In the Boston market, the DCCC trimmed $650,000 from the city’s broadcast reservations. The committee kept $700,000 worth of advertisements during that time for other targeted races. That market includes Rep. John Tierney’s (D-Mass.) re-election, as well as two competitive House races in nearby New Hampshire.

Finally, the DCCC trimmed $740,000 from its broadcast reservations in the Chicago market, which covers at least two competitive House races. That leaves the committee with about $297,000 in airtime reservations that week, according to the source.

Democrats are bullish about winning the Illinois 8th, 10th and 11th districts. Roll Call considers the 8th district Leans Democratic and the other two contests Tossups. Also, House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, recently purchased $2.4 million in spots to target those three districts.

Correction, Oct. 10:
Roll Call rates the Illinois 8th district Leans Democratic.

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