DCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to ‘Red to Blue’ program

Greg Nash

House Democrats’ campaign arm reserved new ad buys in competitive districts across the country Wednesday as it works to expand its offensive targets in the sprint to the fall elections.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is reserving a total of $3.8 million worth of ads in six House districts both to unseat Republican incumbents and help vulnerable Democrats keep their seats, the group confirmed to The Hill, as the party works to pad their House majority.

The largest investment is a $960,000 ad buy in the Philadelphia broadcast market that could impact a number of New Jersey or Pennsylvania races.

The buy is intended to make a splash particularly in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, where Democrat Amy Kennedy is working to unseat Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R). Van Drew won his seat in 2018 as a Democrat but has since switched parties to boost his reelection chances in the GOP-leaning district. 

The ad buy could also seep into efforts to boost Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) in the state’s 3rd District, bolster Rep. Susan Wild (D) in the Philadelphia suburbs or flip the seat Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) won in 2018.

The DCCC is also reserving $852,000 in the Salt Lake City broadcast market to support first-term Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah), who flipped the seat in 2018, and $480,000 in the St. Louis broadcast market to help defeat GOP Reps. Ann Wagner (Mo.) or Rodney Davis (Ill.). 

Democrats are also placing ads in the Los Angeles cable and Spanish broadcast markets to defeat Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.), the Indianapolis broadcast market to win the seat vacated by Rep. Susan Brooks (R) and New York City cable outlets to boost Rep. Tom Malinowski (D), who represents the nearby suburbs in New Jersey. 

The DCCC has now reserved more than $37 million in television reservations and more than $2.25 million in digital reservations as it works to protect and expand the Democratic House majority. Many of the reservations are being placed to impact suburban House races, indicating that these districts will likely play a significant role in the elections this year.

The group has also used its ads to reach out to diverse communities in battleground districts, including Vietnamese voters. The DCCC announced last week it is placing ads in a Vietnamese-language outlet in the Los Angeles media market to target voters in Orange County, Calif., a historical GOP stronghold where Democrats made substantial gains in 2018.

“Further TV and digital reservations will continue in measured increments across our expansive battlefield in the months to come. These latest reservations reflect the size and scope of the House battlefield we have built,” the DCCC said Wednesday.

The new ad reservations were first reported by Politico

The DCCC also announced Wednesday it is placing two more Democrats on its “Red to Blue” list, a program promoting candidates in top races to unseat Republicans. 

Ammar Campa-Najjar in California’s 50th District and Nancy Goroff in New York’s 1st District were added to the list, which now consists of 33 contenders. Campa-Najjar is running against former Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) for the open seat vacated by former Rep. Duncan Hunter (R), and Goroff is running against Rep. Lee Zeldin (R).

“House Democrats have recruited a historically strong class of candidates. Their local leadership, fundraising, and extraordinary records of service put Democrats in a commanding position to continue expanding our offensive battlefield and expand our majority,” Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), the DCCC chairwoman, said. “In contrast, Washington Republicans are still trying to take away people’s health care during a deadly pandemic and it’s putting them on defense in what they once assumed was ruby-Red territory.”

The DCCC also added three Texas seats and a seat in North Carolina to its overall offensive battlefield.

Tags Ann Wagner Brian Fitzpatrick broadcast ads Cheri Bustos Darrell Issa DCCC digital ads Duncan Hunter Election ads House campaign arm Jeff Van Drew Lee Zeldin Rodney Davis Susan Brooks Susan Wild Tom Malinowski

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