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Dems Make Major Buy

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is taking advantage of its huge financial advantage already, making major media buys in 31 Congressional districts around the country, according to an internal document obtained by Politics Nation. The DCCC has reserved $34.5 million worth of television time, including $22.5 million in districts currently held by Republicans.

Democrats enjoy a huge financial advantage over Republicans. Through the end of May, the DCCC held $47.1 million in cash reserves, while the National Republican Congressional Committee had just $6.65 million in the bank. That disparity will play a huge role in November, and Democrats are already laying the foundation with the first round of major ad buys.

Of the nineteen Republican districts Democrats have reserved time in, the party has a good chance to pick up as many as a dozen. Nine Republican incumbents, including Alaska Rep. Don Young, Michigan Reps. Joe Knollenberg and Tim Walberg, Nevada Rep. Jon Porter and Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, are early targets of DCCC media buys.

The party is targeting ten Republican-held open seats as well. In Arizona's First District, Rep. Rick Renzi's retirement has made Democratic former State Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick the early front-runner. In New York's Thirteenth District, Rep. Vito Fossella's retirement after being charged with a DUI has left Republicans virtually without an opponent.

But after picking up thirty seats in 2006 and another three in special elections this year, Democrats realize they have to play defense as well. The party will defend Reps. Jason Altmire, a Pennsylvanian who faces a rematch with his 2006 opponent Melissa Hart, Texan Nick Lampson, who will face former Congressional aide Pete Olson, and Harry Mitchell, a freshman from Arizona who will face the winner of a competitive primary.

Too, the party has already reserved time to defend retiring Rep. Darlene Hooley's suburban and exurban Portland seat in Oregon. State Senator Kurt Shrader, the Democratic nominee, is seen as the front-runner after Republican Mike Erickson faced embarrassing personal revelations following his state's May primary.

In total, the DCCC has reserved $12 million to protect their own incumbents and Hooley's open seat. The nine Republican incumbents will be targeted with up to $9 million in total spending, while the DCCC has reserved another $13.5 million for Republican-held open seats.

Still, these numbers can change over the coming months. Reserving time is not the same thing as buying time, and, should Democrats decide one race is easily won or already lost, the party can shift resources to other districts. Having reserved time only ensures the DCCC can spend money before commercial advertisers and other political candidates buy the time remaining, driving prices up.

Too, with Barack Obama, John McCain and both parties expected to spend millions in a wider number of states than normal, both including traditionally Democratic and Republican states, cheaper political advertising rates will run out quickly, while traditional advertising rates will balloon.

Full list of targeted districts and amount of ad buys after the jump.

State / District / Incumbent (Party) / Money spent / Points reserved (approximately)

Republican Incumbents

Alaska / At large / Young (R) / $586,000 / 4,000
Colorado / 04 / Musgrave (R) / $667,000 / 2,000
Connecticut / 04 / Shays (R) / $697,000 / 2,200
Florida / 24 / Feeney (R) / $1 million / 3,000
Michigan / 07 / Walberg (R) / $1.5 million / 10,800
Michigan / 09 / Knollenberg (R) / $1.1 million / 3,200
North Carolina / 08 / Hayes (R) / $1.6 million / 9,250
Nevada / 03 / Porter (R) / $916,000 / 3,000
Ohio / 01 / Chabot (R) / $928,000 / 4,300

Republican Open Seats

Arizona / 01 / Renzi (R-Open) / $1.7 million / 4,400
Minnesota / 03 / Ramstad (R-Open) / $1.4 million / 5,000
Missouri / 09 / Hulshof (R-Open) / $941,000 / 10,000
New Jersey / 07 / Ferguson (R-Open) / $1.8 million / 2,400 -- *
New Mexico / 01 / Wilson (R-Open) / $1.3 million / 5,000
New Mexico / 02 / Pearce (R-Open) / $1.2 million / 5,900
New York / 13 / Fossella (R-Open) / $1.3 million / 4,000 -- *
Ohio / 15 / Pryce (R-Open) / $1.2 million / 5,000
Ohio / 16 / Regula (R-Open) / $1.3 million / 5,000
Virginia / 11 / Davis (R-Open) / $1.3 million / 1,800

Democratic Incumbents

Arizona / 05 / Mitchell (D) / $1.7 million / 4,400
Florida / 16 / Mahoney (D) / $1.5 million / 9,400
Indiana / 09 / Hill (D) / $1.6 million / 10,800
Kansas / 02 / Boyda (D) / $1.2 million / 16,200
Kentucky / 03 / Yarmuth (D) / $659,000 / 4,000
Louisiana / 06 / Cazayoux (D) / $723,000 / 5,000
New Hampshire / 01 / Shea-Porter (D) / $564,000 / 450
Pennsylvania / 04 / Altmire (D) / $554,000 / 3,200
Texas / 22 / Lampson (D) / $1.1 million / 2,200
Texas / 23 / Rodriguez (D) / $707,000 / 4,000
Wisconsin / 08 / Kagen (D) / $475,000 / 5,000

Democratic Open Seats

Oregon / 05 / Hooley (D-Open) / $1.2 million / 5,000

* -- Fossella's and Ferguson's districts are in the New York City media market, the most expensive in the country. The DCCC's buys here are mostly targeted toward cable television.