10 most expensive House races

10 most expensive House races
 
Outside groups have reserved more than $128 million in television time in critical House races across the country, an early indication of where each major party sees the landscape tilting in its favor this fall.
 
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Democrats face a steep climb in their bid to reclaim a majority in the House, which Republicans have controlled since 2011. Republicans hold 247 seats in the lower chamber, meaning Democrats must flip 30 GOP-held seats to win back the Speakership.
 
Here are the 10 congressional districts where the four biggest-spending outside groups — the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC); the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC); House Majority PAC, which supports Democrats; and the Congressional Leadership Fund, which backs Republicans — have spent most to reserve advertising airtime this fall:
 
» Colorado's 6th District: Together, three groups have blocked off nearly $11.4 million in airtime in the Denver media market, where Rep. Mike Coffman (R) is seeking a fifth term. 
 
The DCCC has invested $3.3 million; House Majority PAC has reserved $3.1 million in ads. And the NRCC will spend nearly $5 million to protect the vulnerable incumbent.
 
President Obama won 51.6 percent of the vote in the suburban district that includes Aurora and parts of Centennial and Littleton. Coffman faces state Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll (D).
 
» Nevada's 3rd and 4th Districts: The two GOP-held seats share the Las Vegas media market, meaning both parties can use the combined $20 million they have reserved there to benefit candidates in either race. 
 
The DCCC has reserved $6.9 million in Las Vegas. The NRCC has reserved $9.9 million, and House Majority PAC will spend another $3.2 million.
 
Rep. Cresent Hardy (R), a surprise winner in 2014, is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country. Obama beat GOP nominee Mitt Romney in Hardy's northern 4th District by more than 10 percentage points in 2012, a daunting challenge for any member of the other party to overcome. He faces state Senate Majority Whip Ruben Kihuen (D), a close ally of retiring U.S. Sen. Harry ReidHarry ReidTop Lobbyists 2017: Grass roots Boehner confronted Reid after criticism from Senate floor GOP in uncharted territory rolling back rules through resolutions MORE (D), in November.
 
Most of House Majority PAC's spending in Sin City, $2.9 million, is earmarked for Democrats trying to take over the seat held by Rep. Joe Heck (R), who is leaving his seat to run for Senate. 
 
Businessman Danny Tarkanian upset the favored Republican candidate in the GOP primary. Tarkanian will take on Jacky Rosen, a community activist recruited by Reid for the right to represent Heck's Henderson-based district, where Obama won a narrow plurality of less than 1 percentage point in 2012.
 
» Florida's 26th District: Miami is a pricey media market, and the fight over Rep. Carlos Curbelo's (R) district will cost both sides dearly. 
 
The DCCC has reserved almost $4 million in the Miami media market, and the NRCC plans to spend $3.6 million. House Majority PAC reserved another $920,000 in late ads, and the Congressional Leadership Fund will spend $1.7 million, for a total of more than $10.2 million in outside spending.
 
Curbelo faces an even bigger challenge in winning crossover voters than Hardy does in Nevada: Obama took 55 percent of the vote in his district in 2012, besting Romney by 11 points.
 
» Minnesota's 8th District: Rep. Rick Nolan is the most vulnerable Democrat in the country, judging by both sides' spending in his Iron Range district. The DCCC has reserved nearly $3 million in advertising in northern Minnesota media markets, and House Majority PAC has blocked off another $2.3 million.
 
The NRCC has reserved just shy of $3.4 million to aid Stewart Mills, a businessman who narrowly missed knocking off Nolan in 2014. Obama beat Romney by 5 points in the district in 2012.
  
 

 
» Illinois's 10th District: The 11-point margin Curbelo must overcome looks quaint to Rep. Bob Dold, a Republican representing Chicago suburbs that Obama won by 17 points in 2012. 
 
The NRCC has reserved just shy of $3.2 million to protect Dold, while the DCCC is investing almost $2.6 million in former Rep. Brad Schneider (D), whom Dold beat in 2014. House Majority PAC has set aside another $490,000 against Dold.
 
» Nebraska's 2nd District: In 2008, Obama won a single electoral vote out of this Omaha-based district. In 2014, Democrat Brad Ashford surprised then-Rep. Lee Terry (R), one of Democrats' few bright spots in an otherwise difficult midterm election year.
 
Now, even as Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore Papadopoulos was in regular contact with Stephen Miller, helped edit Trump speech: report Bannon jokes Clinton got her ‘ass kicked’ in 2016 election MORE makes plans to compete for that Electoral College vote, Republicans want the seat back. The NRCC is spending almost $2.4 million on Don Bacon, a retired Air Force brigadier general. The DCCC spent some money trying to meddle in the GOP primary, and it has committed a total of $2.4 million to defending Ashford. 
 
The Congressional Leadership Fund is adding another $720,000 in an effort to defeat the freshman Democrat. House Majority PAC will spend $672,000 on ads in the Omaha market, which Romney won with 53 percent of the vote in 2012.
 
» Maine's 2nd District: Maine rarely finds itself a focal point of partisan spending, but when Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) won an open seat in 2014, he set off an expensive fight for the votes of Mainers who live outside of Portland.
 
The two sides will spend nearly $5.9 million on Poliquin's fight against former state Sen. Emily Cain (D), who lost a close race in 2014. The NRCC is spending $3.2 million to protect the incumbent, while House Majority PAC has bought $1.8 million in ads. The DCCC is investing $830,000 so far.
 
» Virginia's 10th District: The Northern Virginia suburbs are changing rapidly, and freshman Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) finds herself in Democratic crosshairs. Comstock won the Washington-area district in 2014, when former Rep. Frank WolfFrank WolfTrump, global religious freedom needs US ambassador to lead Bottom Line 10 most expensive House races MORE retired. 
 
The NRCC has bought more than $2.5 million in airtime to defend an incumbent most Republicans see as a rising star. The DCCC has committed $1.8 million to aiding developer LuAnn Bennett, the Democrats’ nominee. 
 
House Majority PAC will spend just over half a million dollars, bringing total outside spending to $4.9 million in a seat Romney won by just four-tenths of a point in 2012.
 
» New Hampshire's 1st District: Rep. Frank Guinta (R) has traded wins and losses with former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) in recent years, and Shea-Porter is running again this year. 
 
But before he gets another rematch, Guinta must win a Sept. 13 primary against businessman Rich Ashooh, who has made an issue of Guinta's troubles with the Federal Election Commission.
 
Whichever Republican wins the primary, the NRCC will be there to help. The committee has reserved nearly $3 million in the Manchester media market. The DCCC has blocked off almost $1.2 million, and House Majority PAC reserved another $706,000. Obama took 50.2 percent of the vote in the Manchester-based district in 2012.
 
The campaign committees are reserving early in these districts, and in about two dozen others around the country, in part because competition for television time is going to be so fierce this year. 
 
Of the 10 districts with the highest levels of spending, just two — Dold's in Illinois and Nolan's in Minnesota — are not in presidential swing states. 
 
By reserving time early, both sides are locking in relatively low ad prices before presidential campaigns and outside groups force rates higher.
 
The two sides are likely to invest more heavily in coming weeks in districts outside the presidential battleground map. Democrats have opportunities to pick up GOP-held seats on Long Island and in upstate New York, for example, though the DCCC has yet to make investments in the state.
 
And other groups are likely to join the fray. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has yet to weigh in with significant spending on behalf of its favored candidates, and liberal groups like the League of Conservation Voters and labor unions have not begun spending serious money on House races either. 
 
And the ad reservations do not necessarily represent concrete plans to spend in targeted markets. The committees do not actually have to wire money to television stations until just days before their ads are scheduled to run. 
 
This means the groups can shift their spending if polls show a targeted candidate either winning easily or losing by a wide margin.