Democrats raised eyebrows earlier this week when reports emerged that the party would spend about $150,000 on ads attacking their nominees opponent in a special House race in Oregon that should be a walk in the park for Democrats.

Now that investment has been upped more than six-fold.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has purchased more than $487,000 in Portland-area television ads to air Dec. 8-22, according to a Republican source tracking the ad buys. The committee is placing another buy for a similar amount the last two weeks in January — right before Democrat Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne BonamiciWashingtonians take center stage at Will on the Hill The Hill's 12:30 Report Democrats come out on top during congressional charity soccer game MORE and Republican Rob Cornilles face each other in a Jan. 31 election.

All told, the committee is planning to spend close to $1 million to get Bonamici elected.

The big-league investment by national Democrats in a safely Democratic district has given Republicans an excuse to trumpet their own candidate and to claim that Democrats are trembling in their boots.

But the DCCC is downplaying its involvement and chalking it up to a play-it-safe strategy necessitated by an unpredictable political environment. Democrats note that the National Republican Congressional Committee spent similar amounts in a special House race in Nevada in September, even though the Republican was clearly favored to win in the right-leaning district.

The Bonamici and Cornilles campaigns are also up with their own ads, almost two months ahead of the election. Because the election will be carried out using only mail-in ballots, some voters will have sent in their ballots well ahead of the actual election date.

The seat being filled by the election was vacated when former Rep. David Wu (D) resigned in August. The district has not had a Republican representative since 1975.