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August 11, 2008

DCCC IE Effort In Full Swing

After an initial investment in mailings to a few targeted districts, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee kicked off their general election advertising spending over the weekend, purchasing almost $200,000 in ten districts across the country.

Part of the initial buy is defense, as Republicans will be quick to point out. Incumbent Reps. Chris Carney of Pennsylvania, Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire and Don Cazayoux of Louisiana will all benefit from thousands in early advertisements (Of note, the DCCC lists expenditures in New Hampshire as against ex-Rep. Jeb Bradley, though Bradley faces a September primary with fellow Republican John Stephen, providing a small window into the committee's thinking).

But Democrats are spending just 22% of the initial buy defending incumbents, with the remaining 78% targeted at districts held by Republicans and open seats.

The party is making a serious investment in Ohio on behalf of Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy, who gets almost $36,000 in the first round of ads, and State Senator John Boccieri, who will have $19,000 worth run on his behalf. Too, the committee will spend about $14,000 on behalf of former Albuquerque City Councilmember Martin Heinrich. All three Democrats are running for Republican-held open seats.

The committee is looking toward New York, where they scored big gains in 2006, with a small buy against Rep. Randy Kuhl; to Missouri, with a sizable $26,000 purchase in Republican Rep. Sam Graves' district; to Michigan, where Rep. Tim Walberg will be hit with the biggest buy, at almost $40,000; and even in Idaho, where cheap television rates mean the $11,000 spent against freshman Rep. Bill Sali could go a long way.

The early advertising is coming in small increments now, but each seat is on the DCCC's list of districts in which they have reserved hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in ad time. Sustained advertising, even at low levels like these first steps, could have a big impact come November.