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House Democrats reserve $32 million in ad time

Associated Press Modified: April 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm •  Published: April 18, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats have reserved more than $32 million in ad time in districts across the country, giving an early sketch of the race for control of the House.

Broadly, the ad reservations show that House Democrats will try to regain control of the chamber in many of the same states President Barack Obama must win to get re-elected in November.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's reservation includes congressional districts in 14 states, heavily concentrated on presidential swing states. It includes more than $8 million in Florida, $3 million in Ohio and about $2 million in Colorado.

In total, 26 targeted seats are held by Republicans, seven by vulnerable Democrats and three seats are open. Democrats need 25 seats to take back the House.

Jennifer Crider, a spokeswoman for the House Democratic campaign committee, characterized the buy as "early" and "aggressive" and said it "puts House Republicans on notice. Democrats are on offense and positioned to win."

This is the earliest that the DCCC has reserved ad time in an election cycle.

Republicans called the buy a sign of desperation.

"The Democrats just pushed a $32 million panic button," said Andrea Bozek, spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "Already having to invest resources into defending members who supported President Obama's job-destroying policies isn't a good sign for (House Democratic leader) Nancy Pelosi's desire to get back into the speaker's chair."

The House Democratic ads would begin airing after Labor Day, when the fall campaign traditionally begins in earnest. The total amount spent and the districts being targeted could change, but the reservation is an early sign of the Democrats' election game plan.

Democrats said the reservation is for an initial wave of advertising and that spending would likely increase.

Notably, the ad buy announced Wednesday did not include time in California, where Democrats have high hopes of picking up seats in November. It also includes limited spending in Illinois, another state where Democrats see pick-up opportunities. Neither state is considered in play in the presidential race.

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