Don’t worry SEPA, congressional Republicans haven’t forgotten about you. After
announcing a $1.3 million post-Labor Day ad buy in southwest Pennsylvania last week, the National Republican Congressional Committee decided to look east and reserve $1.6 million in airtime in the Philly market.
Politico reported Monday that the NRCC recently reserved the airtime, most likely in an effort to safeguard potentially vulnerable Republicans in the area, including Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks).
Fitzpatrick has faced strong opposition from his opponent in the general election, Kathy Boockvar, as well as CREDO SuperPAC, a California-based political action committee focused on grassroots activism rather than large ad buys.
The money isn’t actually out the door – it’s just a way to give the NRCC right of refusal on ad time in the fall. Thanks to the influx of outside money via super PACs, ad space is likely to be more difficult to come by closer to election day.
In addition to Fitzpatrick, the Philly component of the NRCC’s plan could also be used to help other Dem targets like Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) and Pat Meehan (R-Delaware), as well as New Jersey Rep. John Runyan.
The $1.6 million ad buy in SEPA is a part of an additional $5.6 million reservation by the
NRCC-on top of an $18.2 million campaign announced last week, which set aside $1.3 million for Republican Keith Rothfus against Rep. Mark Critz (D-Cambria). (It could also go toward Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny), facing a challenge from Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi).
Even with the new reservation, the NRCC is trailing their Democratic counterparts. In April, the DCCC set aside over $5 million for airtime in the state, with $3.57 million dedicated to the Philadelphia media market and $2 million to Pittsburgh.