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DCCC Cancels Airtime in Potential Sign of Trouble for Iowa’s Rod Blum

Move signals Democrats are confident in their challenger Abby Finkenauer

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, is one of the most vulnerable House incumbents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, is one of the most vulnerable House incumbents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has canceled its television ad reservation in the race against Republican Rep. Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st District, according to a media tracking firm, which could signal that Democrats are confident about flipping the seat.

Blum faces state Rep. Abby Finkenauer, whom Democrats tout as a top recruit. The DCCC’s decision, reported by the firm Medium Buying, signals Finkenauer might not need as much help, and the committee wants to spend its resources elsewhere. The DCCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Medium Buying reported that the DCCC had canceled its airtime in the Cedar Rapids media market, which reaches 86 percent of the district according to a media market breakdown from Daily Kos Elections. House Majority PAC, a super PAC tied to House Democratic leadership, had initially reserved $540,000 in the district. Neither the National Republican Congressional Committee nor the Congressional Leadership Fund, HMP’s Republican counterpart, had reserved airtime in the district. 

The news come amid reports that the NRCC had stopped spending in Pennsylvania’s 17th District on behalf of vulnerable Rep. Keith Rothfus, who faces an uphill challenge from Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb in the newly drawn seat. 

Blum is among the most vulnerable House incumbents, and is also facing a House Ethics Committee investigation relating to his failure to disclose his role as CEO of a company. 

Blum won a second term in 2016 by 8 points, while President Donald Trump was carrying the 1st District by 3 points. But the district backed President Barack Obama by double digits in both 2008 and 2012.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Democratic

Watch: 12 House Ratings Changes: Democrats Are More Likely Than Not to Win Majority

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