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« Strategy Memo: McCain's Turn | Blog Home Page | Strategy Memo: Palin Comparison »

GOPers Reserve Ad Time

The National Republican Congressional Committee has plopped down the first two rounds of reservations for television time in advance of November's general election, and though they trail their Democratic counterparts, Republicans are remaining optimistic the money will roll in.

Republicans have reserved a total of $17.8 million in television time targeting 26 districts, far short of the more than 50 Democrats are targeting with upwards of $50 million. Too, the list of targeted districts looks remarkably similar to Democrats' list, meaning the party is likely to be outspent in most places where they advertise.

Democratic claims that the majority of districts in play remain in GOP districts ring true, given some of the names on the list, including entrenched incumbents like Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, both of Florida, Joe Knollenberg of Michigan, Steve Chabot of Ohio and, perhaps most surprisingly, Phil English in Pennsylvania.

In all, fourteen of the 26 districts feature Republican incumbents, while seven targets are open seat races being vacated by Republicans. Just five Democrats are targets of Republican ad dollars, though they are the five most promising names on the GOP headhunting list.

Republicans have their eyes on Florida Rep. Tim Mahoney, Kansas Rep. Nancy Boyda, Don Cazayoux of Louisiana, Nick Lampson of Texas and Wisconsin Rep. Steve Kagen. All except Lampson were first elected in 2006, though Lampson returned to Congress that year after losing a previous bid for re-election.

Remember, television reservations are no indication that Republicans will actually spend the money on advertising, and they can cancel those reservations any time (The DCCC canceled millions of dollars slated to defend Boyda this year after the Kansas Democrat publicly asked the party to stay out of her race). But the early Republican moves are an ambitious statement that their party won't be outspent too dramatically, if they can help it.

A full list of targeted districts, the amount of time Republicans have reserved and the number of points that means is after the jump. Two thousand points is considered saturation level for a week, meaning the average television viewer would see an ad twenty times in a week-long period.

State / District / Incumbent (Party) / Money reserved / Points (Approx.)

Republican Incumbents

CO / 04 / Musgrave (R) / $1.2 million / 2578
FL / 21 / L. Diaz-Balart (R) / $1 million / 1970
FL / 24 / Feeney (R) / $408,000 / 2000
FL / 25 / M. Diaz-Balart (R) / $950,000 / 2284
ID / 01 / Sali (R) / $509,000 / 5600
MI / 07 / Walberg (R) / $832,000 / 4000
MI / 09 / Knollenberg (R) / $618,000 / 2000
MN / 06 / Bachmann (R) / $600,000 / 2000
NC / 08 / Hayes (R) / $720,000 / 4500
NV / 03 / Porter (R) / $550,000 / 2200
OH / 01 / Chabot (R) / $538,000 / 2500
OH / 02 / Schmidt (R) / $485,000 / 2224
PA / 03 / English (R) / $676,000 / 6400
WA / 08 / Reichert (R) / $1 million / 2236

Republican Open Seats

AL / 02 / Everett (R) / $377,865 / 6500
LA / 04 / McCrery (R) / $322,000 / 3200
MN / 03 / Ramstad (R) / $625,000
MO / 06 / Hulshof (R) / $430,000 / 3200
NM / 01 / Wilson (R) / $730,000 / 2400
OH / 15 / Pryce (R) / $810,000 / 2561
OH / 16 / Regula (R) / $811,000 / 2500

Democratic Incumbents

FL / 16 / Mahoney (D) / $926,000 / 5500
KS / 02 / Boyda (D) / $580,000 / 6566
LA / 06 / Cazayoux (D) / $474,000 / 3169
TX / 22 / Lampson (D) / $1.5 million / 2021
WI / 08 / Kagen (D) / $213,000 / 2500