This afternoon, Democratic congressional hopeful Kathy Boockvar sent her supporters an urgent fundraising request.
“We just received news that outside groups with unlimited resources are flooding the Philadelphia media market with $2 million in ads,” she wrote. “We need your help today to make sure we have the resources we need to fight back.”
There’s good news for her: she’ll need a lot less in order to fight back. That’s because only about $130,000 of the $2 million she cited will ever see the light of day. The remaining $1.87 million in GOP ad buys has been withdrawn.
She faces Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks).
On Monday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee canceled plans to spend about $1.4 million on television ads in the Philadelphia market. Half of that was to boost Boockvar, another half for a candidate in New Jersey. That followed a similar cancellation the week before.
In response, the National Republican Congressional Committee canceled its plans to spend a similar amount in PA-8.
Ditto the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC. It had $1.6 million ready to go in the Philly market, but this week cut that back to $650K. Every dime of that is earmarked to help Republican Rep. John Runyan in New Jersey’s 3rd district.
What’s left? The PAC of the National Association of Realtors. They will continue to air a pro-Fitzpatrick ad through the last week of October on cable, at a cost of about $130K.
Boockvar and Fitzpatrick are still on TV, too. Fitzpatrick has about $750,000 scheduled to go on TV from now until election day. His $1 million ad flight began on Oct. 10th, when he allocated $805K for network TV and $195K for cable.
Boockvar, according to a GOP media buying source, has only about $60,000 scheduled through October 22 – all on cable. Her campaign goes week-to-week on TV buys, so details on her final two weeks are impossible to come by (her campaign declined to comment on TV strategy).
PA-8 is one of the most cable-friendly districts in the nation (high saturation vis-a-vis network TV and the district has just 3 markets). Nonetheless, she faces an uphill battle.
On the bright side for Boockvar, she’s doing well in the print media. She picked up the endorsement of the Philadelphia Inquirer Wednesday. Here’s the gist:
[Fitzpatrick’s] party-line votes to repeal the health-care overhaul and approve budgets that would gut federal programs, maintain tax cuts for the wealthy, and threaten traditional Medicare, and it becomes clear that Fitzpatrick is cozying up to tea-party policies far from his district’s mainstream.
Fortunately, voters have an alternative in Boockvar, 43, a voting-rights attorney. Like Fitzpatrick, she wants to boost jobs by cutting corporate tax rates and trimming red tape for small businesses. But she also wants to pass cost-containment measures missing from the Affordable Care Act, rather than jettison it without a viable alternative, which is what Fitzpatrick would do.