The National Republican Congressional Committee reported $11.6 million in new independent expenditure spending Friday, bringing its total IE spending to more than $31 million in the lead-up to the November midterm elections.
Top targets of the new spending include two Ohio Democrats in neighboring districts, Reps. John Boccieri and Zack Space. The NRCC’s latest report showed $521,000 spent in Space’s 18th district, bringing the committee’s total investment against the sophomore lawmaker to $769,000.
The committee dropped $427,000 in Boccieri’s 16th district, bringing its total spending against the freshman to $909,000. It’s one of eight districts where the NRCC is spending more than $800,000. The NRCC has already spent more than $1 million against two Democratic incumbents — Rep. Mark Schauer in Michigan’s 7th district and Rep. Dina Titus in Nevada’s 3rd district.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent more than $800,000 in five districts. They are those held by Democratic Reps. Larry Kissell (N.C.), Bobby Bright (Ala.), Frank Kratovil (Md.) and Boccieri, as well as the Democratic-held open seat in Michigan’s 1st district.
The new IE spending was reported as candidates filed third-quarter fundraising reports Friday, which provide the last look at how the financial playing field is shaping up before the Nov. 2 elections. The new reports showed Republican challengers outraised a number of vulnerable incumbents in targeted races between July and the end of September. For example, Bright was outraised by Republican Martha Roby, $210,000 to $364,000, and Kissell was outraised by Republican Harold Johnson, $250,000 to $465,000.
Also on Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported that around a dozen seats that Democrats now hold are lost, according to two sources familiar with the party’s election strategy. The painful decisions for party operatives about which incumbents to cut off financially come as the House playing field is expanding in the final weeks of the campaign.
The DCCC still has a large bank account to unload in the next two weeks. The committee filed $792,000 in IE spending Friday and has now spent just less than $22 million on general election IEs. The DCCC had $41.6 million on hand as of Sept. 30, while the NRCC had $19 million on hand.
Tennessee’s 4th district is an emerging battleground for both committees, their latest filings with the Federal Election Commission showed. Both reported spending money for the first time on Democratic Rep. Lincoln Davis’s re-election bid. The NRCC spent $308,000 and the DCCC dropped $108,000.
Along with Space and Boccieri, the NRCC also just spent hefty sums in the following Democratic-held districts: $407,000 against Rep. Betsy Markey in Colorado’s 4th district, $399,000 against Titus, $356,000 against Kratovil in Maryland’s 1st district and $339,000 against Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire’s 1st district.
All six of those districts were held by a Republican prior to the 2006 midterm elections, and Republicans are spending big to win them back this cycle.
The NRCC just spent $310,000 in both of the open seat races in Massachusetts’ 10th district and Washington’s 3rd district. It also reported spending $295,000 against Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.), $274,000 against Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.) and $248,000 against Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.).
The NRCC report also showed several races where they paid for recent polling. Among the race featuring Democratic incumbents the NRCC polled are: Reps. Harry Mitchell (Ariz.), Tom Perriello (Va.), Scott Murphy (N.Y.), Steve Kagen (Wis.), Jim Marshall (Ga.), Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.), Glenn Nye (Va.), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Gene Taylor (Miss.), Childers, Tim Walz (Minn.), Mark Critz (Pa.) and Christopher Carney (Pa.). The NRCC also polled in the Massachusetts and Washington open seats.