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Democrats Cut Ad Time in Michigan House Race (Updated)

Benishek is a Republican from Michigan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Benishek is a Republican from Michigan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:49 p.m. | A Democratic super PAC has cut a television ad reservation for the party’s best offensive opportunity in Michigan, according to two sources who monitor media buys.  

House Majority PAC’s cancellation could be a sign Democrats are no longer optimistic their nominee, retired Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon, can defeat Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich.  

In June, HMP — a super PAC that boosts House Democrats — reserved $375,000 for the district, according to The Washington Post . A Republican source said the reservation was for Sept. 23 through Oct. 13 in the Marquette and Traverse City media markets.  

But this week, HMP went dark in Michigan’s 1st District.  

That HMP reservation previously filled in a two-week gap when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did not plan on airing ads in the district.  

According to a GOP source, Cannon is currently on television this week, but Democrats are not slated to air any ads in the district as of next week: The candidate, the DCCC and HMP have not bought or reserved airtime for the week of Sept. 30.  

Cannon plans to be back on the air on Oct. 6, and the DCCC reserved another weeks-long window beginning Oct. 14.  

The cancellation occurred several weeks ago, according to a Democratic insider. On Sept. 16, the National Republican Congressional Committee reserved $1 million in the Traverse City market.  

Cannon was touted by Democrats as a top recruit. While he built to a large war chest for his campaign, he was not among the top tier of his recruitment class’ fundraisers. Michigan’s 1st District is rated a Tilts Republican contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Benishek narrowly won re-election in 2012 by less than a point.  

HMP cut ad time  in New York’s 21st District earlier this week.  

Update 3:49 p.m. |  Another GOP source closely involved with the Benishek campaign says Cannon was originally scheduled to go dark next week. But as of Thursday morning, the source said Cannon had bought airtime for next week.  

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