The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has set aside more than $5 million in airtime in Pennsylvania for the general election – $3.57 million in the Philadelphia market, $2 million in Pittsburgh.
Those markets comprise the 6th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 15th and 18th districts in Pa. It’s part of a $32 million national buy that begins after Labor Day. The spots would run as independent expendatures.
Their top targets are likely to be Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) and Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny), but Reps. Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh), Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) and Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) are on notice, too.
The DCCC is going on offense in most cases, but Pa-12 is an exception. The winner of the Jason Altmire/Mark Critz primary will be weakened and low on cash, and Dems want to make sure and hold off challenger Keith Rothfus, who has an impressive $357K on hand.
Rothfus put a positive spin on the news.
“I am emboldened by this news because it shows how desperate the Democrats are in trying to convince us, the hard working people of Southwestern Pennsylvania, that their failed economic policies, continued addiction to spending, and big government agenda is the right choice for the PA-12,” he said.
Politico first reported the buy, and the DCCC’s rationale for its earliest reservations ever:
A strategist familiar with the buy said that with presidential candidates, outside interest groups and well-funded super PACs poised to unleash an unprecedented flood of ads, the committee wanted to lock in TV advertising early, before inventory is bought out and rates become more expensive. Operatives from both parties say they expect ad prices to skyrocket by summer.
In some cases, Democrats say they will take steps to hide their plans from Republicans. The DCCC, for example, is buying advertising time in the expensive Philadelphia media market, where the party is targeting several GOP incumbents, but won’t reveal which of the specific area races the ads will be used in until the moment the ad hits the airwaves.