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Schauer Set to Be NRCC’s First Million-Dollar Target

Updated: 2:29 p.m.

The National Republican Congressional Committee went up with new TV ads in 29 districts over the weekend, and the committee reported shelling out a total of $8.25 million to boost its efforts to regain the majority — the largest one-day spending total for the NRCC this cycle.

Included in the NRCC’s Saturday independent expenditure filing was roughly $200,000 in spending to target freshman Democratic Rep. Mark Schauer in Michigan’s 7th district. The new spending brings the NRCC’s total IE investment in Schauer to $999,000, putting the Michigan race on track to become the first race where either party has spent $1 million.

To put that in perspective, as of Oct. 13, 2006, there were 21 races where the parties had spent more than $1 million. At that point, Republicans had spent more than $1 million on 18 races as they were trying to protect their majority and hold back a surging Democratic tide. Democrats, who would go on to win the majority in the November elections, had spent more than $1 million on just three races.

As of this weekend, there are 11 races where the NRCC has spent more than $500,000. The committee’s latest report showed a large increase in spending on targeting Rep. Dina Titus (D) in Nevada’s 3rd district and on Washington’s 3rd district, where Rep. Brian Baird (D) is retiring.

The NRCC is also spending heavily on two other Democratic-held open seats: Tennessee’s 8th district, currently held by Rep. John Tanner, and Michigan’s 1st district, currently held by Rep. Bart Stupak. Stupak and Tanner are also retiring, and the NRCC had spent $1.98 million total on the three races as of Saturday.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did not report any new independent expenditures over the weekend. As of the DCCC’s last report Friday, the committee had spent more than $500,000 on just four races. As of that point, the DCCC had spent the most on boosting freshman Reps. Bobby Bright (Ala.) and Larry Kissell (N.C.), who have benefited from $626,000 and $624,000 in IE spending, respectively.

The DCCC is also beginning to pull money out of races that appear to be lost at this point, including cutting off Democratic incumbents. Roll Call contributor Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report reported Monday that the DCCC has canceled its media buys after this week in Rep. Steve Driehaus’ Cincinnati-based district. The freshman Congressman is viewed as an underdog in his race against former Rep. Steve Chabot (R).

“Other Democrats could face the same fate in the next 24 hours, since the deadline for cancelling reserved time is fast approaching,” Rothenberg added.

Many of the NRCC’s latest ads, including the one targeting Schauer, feature Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an effort to tie the Democratic incumbent or candidate to the California Democrat. To view all of the NRCC’s new ads, click here.