An influential Democratic House super PAC is cancelling nearly $1 million in ad buys in Virginia's 10th district, signaling that Democrats are increasingly bright eyed about their chances of ousting Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockThe Memo: Never Trumpers sink into gloom as Gonzalez bows out Sunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect The Memo: Trump pours gas on tribalism with Jan. 6 rewrite MORE (R-Va.).
A source familiar with the buys said that House Majority PAC (HMP) pulled the plug on a roughly $470,000 reservation the week of Oct. 9 and cut about $510,000 from a reservation the week of Oct. 23.
The move by HMP suggests that Democrats are optimistic about Virginia state Sen. Jennifer Wexton's chances of defeating Comstock in November and may be looking to shift resources to other areas.
Comstock's northern Virginia district has been represented by Republicans for more than three decades.
But Democrats are bullish about their chances of flipping the district in November, energized by shifting demographics, President TrumpDonald TrumpMedia giants side with Bannon on request to release Jan. 6 documents Cheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE's unpopularity and the fact that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBudowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE won there by 10 points in 2016.
A Monmouth University poll in June gave Wexton a 9 point lead over Comstock in the race. That same month, The Cook Political Report, an election handicapper, moved the contest from the "toss-up" column to "Lean Democrat."
But both parties are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in the race, and internal polls on both sides show a tighter race than the one reflected in public surveys.
Democrats are gunning for a so-called "blue wave" in November in hopes of recapturing the majority in the House and, possibly, the Senate. The party needs to gain at least 23 seats to win control of the House.
--Reid Wilson contributed to this report.
--Updated at 10:42 p.m.