GOP super PAC expands field program to 40 districts

GOP super PAC expands field program to 40 districts
© Greg Nash

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with retiring Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThree scenarios for how leadership races could play out in the House New Dem ad uses Paterno, KKK, affair allegations to tar GOP leaders House Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem' MORE (R-Wis.), is expanding its presence in key GOP-held districts as Republicans seek to fend off a potential Democratic "blue wave" in this year's midterm elections.

The group announced Friday that it is opening field offices in six Republican-led districts, bringing its total to 40 offices in competitive House races across the country. 

The new field offices are intended to boost GOP Reps. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisGOP super PAC expands field program to 40 districts Cook shifts House race of lawmaker who bought multimillion dollar yacht away from GOP Jordan weathering political storm, but headwinds remain MORE (Ill.), Randy HultgrenRandall (Randy) Mark HultgrenGOP super PAC expands field program to 40 districts On The Money: Trump doubles down on shutdown threat | Trump reportedly weighing big tax cut for the rich | Chamber says helping all sectors hit by tariffs would cost B GOP frets Trump tariffs will hit midterm prospects MORE (Ill.), George HoldingGeorge Edward Bell HoldingGOP super PAC expands field program to 40 districts Brady at White House meeting: House to vote on more tax cuts in September Trump, GOP launch full-court press on compromise immigration measure MORE (N.C.) and Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsThe Hill's 12:30 Report Vulnerable Republicans include several up-and-coming GOP leaders GOP super PAC expands field program to 40 districts MORE (Texas), as well as now-open seats in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District and Kansas' 2nd District.

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In North Carolina's 9th District, Republicans are seeking to hold on to the seat held by outgoing Rep. Robert PittengerRobert Miller PittengerCook Political Report moves 4 GOP seats to 'toss-up' category It’s possible to protect national security without jeopardizing the economy GOP super PAC expands field program to 40 districts MORE (R-N.C.), who lost his primary bid against pastor Mark Harris. Harris is locked in a tough race against Democrat Dan McCready, who has a significant financial advantage over his Republican opponent.

Republican Steve Watkins is also likely to face a difficult challenge in Kansas' 2nd District. He overcame a crowded field of GOP hopefuls in his primary on Tuesday, and is now set to face off against another well-funded Democrat, Paul Davis, in November.

The field offices have been a key part of CLF's strategy to bolster Republican candidates in districts where Democrats are eyeing inroads to claiming back the House majority. Democrats face a tough challenge, needing to flip 23 seats in order to overcome their deficit.

In Ohio's 12th District, for example, CLF spent millions of dollars on advertisements and a field program to boost Republican Troy Balderson in his special election bid against Democrat Danny O'Connor. Republicans initially expected the race to be an easy victory for the party, given its more than 30-year streak as a GOP-held district.

But the election, which took place on Tuesday, has yet to be called officially, though Republicans have declared victory. Balderson currently leads in the polls by less than 1 percent, and provisional ballots will take days to count. 

Though Balderson and Republicans could still eke out a victory in the Ohio's 12th District, Democrats see the closeness of that race as a strong sign that they can win back the House in November.