Dem Super PAC Books $40 Million in Midterm Ads

By James Arkin
March 08, 2018

House Majority PAC, the top outside organization dedicated to Democrats flipping control of the House of Representatives, announced Thursday that it is booking more than $40 million in television advertising for the final weeks of this year’s midterm elections.

The ads will run in 33 media markets, spanning dozens of potentially competitive races. The largest booking comes in Los Angeles, where the organization plans to spend more than $5 million on advertising that will reach several Republican-held districts Democrats are targeting.

“2018 will bring a barrage of frantic negative attack ads from GOP outside groups, but HMP is ensuring we’re prepared early on to fight back,” said Charlie Kelly, the group’s executive director. “Momentum is on our side, and with smart, strategic investments, we will help Democrats win across the country.”  

Campaign committees and super PACs often book television airtime well in advance to lock in lower rates, as the price is likely to rise closer to Election Day. The initial buy from House Majority PAC targets areas where Democrats expect to see the most competitive races, but may shift in the coming months if the dynamics change.

The largest investments are in big city markets, which are the most expensive and are also home to dozens of GOP-held seats that are considered winnable. Democrats are targeting a string of suburban districts across the country, many of which supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. The second largest investment is in Minneapolis, with $3.5 million. Minnesota advertising may be particularly expensive this year, with a competitive governor’s race, two Senate races and several tightly contested House races, which could explain the large outlay there.

In Texas, the group plans to book $2.2 million in Dallas, $1.9 million in Houston and $850,000 in San Antonio, the three metro areas that cover targeted districts. Clinton defeated Trump narrowly in each of them, though Democrats don’t yet have candidates finalized there, with all three going to May runoffs after Tuesday’s primary. In Florida, the PAC is booking nearly $2 million in Orlando and more than $1 million in Miami, where it is targeting a district that overwhelmingly supported Clinton but is represented by Republican Carlos Curbelo.

In Philadelphia, where Democrats are targeting several districts following the state Supreme Court’s redrawing of the congressional map, the super PAC is planning to book $2.9 million in ads. It’s also booking $1.7 million in Denver, where Democrats are challenging Rep. Mike Coffman, who represents a perennial swing district.

The other metro areas where House Majority PAC plans to book more than $1 million in ads are Chicago, San Diego, New York City, Seattle, Sacramento, Portland, Maine, Las Vegas and Detroit.

James Arkin is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at jarkin@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @JamesArkin.

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