Campaign

House Democratic super PAC unleashes over $100 million ad blitz

Flags are flown at half-mast at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, March 24, 2022, to honor former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who passed on March 23, 2022.
Anna Rose Layden

House Democrats’ main super PAC on Wednesday announced an ad blitz worth more than $100 million as the party faces an uphill climb in retaining its majority in the lower chamber.

House Majority PAC (HMP) said it was investing $101.8 million in television and digital reservations to run in the final months of the midterm cycle. The ads will be featured across 50 markets, with the initial tranche focusing on expensive and crowded markets.

The total television reservations total more than $86 million, while the digital investments come to $15.8 million. In the 2020 cycle, when Democrats held on to the House but surprised most by losing about a dozen seats, HMP’s initial ad reservations totaled $51 million across 29 markets. 

“Thanks to the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, our Democratic House Majority has delivered for the American people while Republicans have done nothing but obstruct and offer empty promises,” HMP Director Abby Curran Horrell said in a statement

“Through these historic television and digital reservations, House Majority PAC is making it clear that it is taking the early steps to do whatever it takes to protect and secure a Democratic House Majority in 2022,” she added. 

The ad blitz shows Democrats trying to defend historically friendly territory, including in South Texas and Seattle. Among the recipients of the airtime will likely be Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), who has held his seat since 1993, and the open seat of retiring Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) near Denver.

About $2.7 million is also going to deep-blue Minneapolis, and more than $3 million is going to Portland, Ore.

To be sure, the ad buy will also be used to go on offense, particularly in California, where redistricting has endangered some Republican suburbanites. HMP is investing more than $7 million in Los Angeles. 

However, the breadth of the map is limiting Democrats’ offensive opportunities. Besides defending blue areas in a year anticipated to favor Republicans, swing states are also swallowing large chunks of funding. Nevada, where Democrats are defending the governorship, a Senate seat and three House seats, is getting an $11.6 million investment in Las Vegas.

Democrats face strong headwinds in defending their House majority this year. On top of the fact that they hold only a five-seat edge, the party in the White House traditionally loses seats in the midterm elections. President Biden’s approval ratings are mired in the low 40s, and polls show lingering frustration over inflation and the coronavirus pandemic and Republicans with an edge on the generic ballot.

The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), HMP’s GOP counterpart, pointed to the latest ad buy’s emphasis on defense to boast that the House is primed to flip this year.

“I think they believe they’ve already lost the majority,” CLF President Dan Conston said in a statement. “This is about staving off losses in some deep-blue, traditionally Democratic areas.”

Tags Biden Congressional Leadership Fund Democratic Party Ed Perlmutter House Majority PAC Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi Republican Party

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