Thursday, April 19, 2012

Democrats Reserve Ad Time In Key U.S. House Races // No Soup for John Delaney in Maryland's 6th Congressional District

Yesterday, Politico reported that the Democratic Party reserved television advertising space in 26 key U.S. House districts around the nation. Maryland Juice noted that Democrat John Delaney's race against GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in the 6th Congressional District did not make the Democrats' list for television expenditures:

WHY THE OMISSION OF CD6? - Coincidentally, yesterday, Maryland Juice noted that Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner had released the results of survey data from battleground U.S. House races. Notably, they included Maryland's 6th Congressional District in their top tier of battlegrounds for this November's General Election. Indeed, many national political observers long ago noted the target on the back of incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. That's what makes the omission of CD6 notable.

CD6 IS NOT IN A PRESIDENTIAL SWING STATE? - The Politico article noted above offered one explanation for the Democrats' skipping over CD6. The reporters described the nature of the DCCC's ad buy and indicated that most of the expenditures were in both key House races and Presidential swing states:
POLITICO has learned that the House Democratic campaign arm is reserving more than $32 million in broadcast TV advertising after Labor Day, the first real signal of the party’s strategy for winning back control of the House.

The ad buy, the earliest in Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee history, stretches from the Northeast to the Mountain West and covers dozens of congressional districts in 14 states — most of them key presidential battlegrounds.

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....

Much of the purchase is focused on presidential battleground states, where TV buying will be especially competitive — the DCCC is spending $8.3 million in Florida and more than $5 million in Pennsylvania media markets. The committee is also spending $2.4 million in Colorado, roughly $3 million in Ohio and $1.8 million in Nevada.

CD6 RACE WILL NOT BE CLOSE? - The Washington Post's political blog "The Fix" made the following alternate speculation about the omission of Democrat John Delaney's race against Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. They attributed it to the fact that the race simply won't be close:
THE FIX: The map on which the battle for the House will be fought this fall came into better focus this week with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announcing that it is reserving $32 million worth of ad time in media markets spanning nearly three dozen competitive districts.

While reserving ad time doesn’t lock the committee into actually buying time, it does provide a good window into the Democrats’ early strategy for trying to take back the House — particularly as it related to which districts they see as crucial and/or close.

Democrats need to gain 25 seats in order to regain the majority, so if they’ve got a shot at it, this is likely just a precursor to a much larger ad buy that spans many more districts. And, most of the current ad reservations are focused on media markets that will likely be important to the presidential race. In markets where it’s unlikely the presidential campaigns will buy time, it’s much easier (and cheaper) to buy ad space later this year....

With the above in mind, it’s worth looking at the districts where the DCCC didn’t reserve time....

House Democrats also didn’t reserve time in a few districts where they are favored to win, including seats held by GOP Reps. Joe Walsh and Robert Dold in the Chicago suburbs, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) and Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.). All four of those districts got more Democratic due to redistricting and will be tough for the GOP to hold.

REALPOLITIK: Maryland Juice would like to add one bit of realpolitik to the analysis here. Prior to John Delaney winning the CD6 Democratic Primary, I had heard at least one Democratic official note that should Delaney win the Primary, he would save the Party money. Delaney, after all, is a multi-millionaire, who besides having the ability to self-finance, also raised over $700,000 during his primary. But this all means Delaney doesn't really owe the State or National Democratic Party much if he wins a seat in Congress. What sort of Democrat in Congress will John Delaney turn out to be? It seems more likely than not that we will soon find out!

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