Republicans Want to Flip the US House – And They’re Outspending Democrats to Do It

Republicans Want to Flip the US House – And They’re Outspending Democrats to Do It

(Bloomberg) — Republicans need to win six seats in the November election to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. In advertising spending, they are beating Democrats in seven districts that were already leading.

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In the two weeks immediately following the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 5, the traditional start of November campaigns, GOP candidates and committees in those races have booked $33 million in advertising, compared to $24 million for Democrats. according to data from AdImpact, which tracks political spending. These districts, all of which have been redrawn to make them more solidly Republican, are rated lean or likely Republican by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

And in most of the thrown-out races, Republicans are outpacing Democrats, too. Of 31 downright contests, Republicans have committed more advertising dollars than Democrats in 18 of them, the data show.

Although the polls show that the Democrats are mostly gaining ground, the difference in spending shows that it is difficult to keep their majority in the House. They have more members at risk than the Republicans, who have plenty of money to target.

“We’re investing heavily in the seats that will make up a new Republican majority, while Democrats are spending millions playing defense,” said Mike Berg, a spokesman for the Republican National Conference Committee, the party arm that supports House candidates.

Republicans also have some reason to defend, although they prefer to get the six seats they need to take control of the House, given the historical trends. But Republican momentum, once driven by President Joe Biden’s low approval rating and inflation, has slowed. The US Supreme Court’s ruling ended the national right to abortion and legislative victories over progressive priorities such as tackling climate change for Democrats.

“Republicans are on the defensive thanks to their toxic crusade against our basic liberties,” said Helen Kalla, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which supports House candidates. “House Democrats have a strong record of working across the aisle to deliver victories for their districts.”

Among the seven districts where Republicans are spending heavily is Iowa’s 3rd, where Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne faces Zach Nunn, a state senator. Republicans are outspending Axne and Democrats by $3.6 million to $3 million.

The NRCC is tying Axne with Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who are to blame for inflation. Axne, who has been running ads positioning himself as a moderate who did not follow the party line, has attacked Nunn for his opposition to abortion.

In Pennsylvania, Republicans have earmarked $7.3 million in airtime to defeat Democratic Representative Susan Wild. In contrast, Democrats have earmarked $5.5 million to stop her opponent, businesswoman Lisa Scheller. As in Iowa, Republican ads emphasize inflation and her support for Pelosi and Biden, while Wild’s ads similarly say she is bipartisan and emphasize Scheller’s anti-abortion stance.

A wave of Republican victories is far from certain. Democrats lead in the RealClearPolitics generic congressional ballot average by 1.1 percentage points. They had trailed as much as 3.9 percentage points in mid-March.

Control of the House will be decided across dozens of narrowly divided districts — and there, too, Democrats are trailing, even though they hold 23 of the 31 seats that Cook rates as a toss-up.

Combined, Republican candidates and committees have earmarked $153 million for general election advertising in those contests compared to $142 million for Democrats. Democrats are spending more than Republicans in nine of them.

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