WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican and Democratic campaign committees have already booked almost $75 million in ads ahead of November's elections, stacking planned ads atop airtime slots already set aside by the candidates themselves and super PACs.
Republicans' campaign arm on Tuesday began telling television stations from New Hampshire to California to set aside a combined $30 million in advertising time ahead of November's elections. House Democrats already have booked $44 million of their own ads in many of the same races.
The big spending still might not be enough to tip the balance of power. Redrawn congressional districts after the 2010 census heavily favored Republicans. Coupled with that, the party that holds the White House historically has lost seats in elections at this point in a president's term, and President Barack Obama, a Democrat, is very unpopular in many congressional districts.
House Republicans have 233 seats and Democrats have 199 seats. There are three vacancies. The GOP is aiming to pick up 12 more seats.
The bulk of the National Republican Congressional Committee's advertising reservations — almost $19 million — is for seats currently in Democrats' hands.
"Democrats in competitive districts will be hitting the panic button today," NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said.
House Democrats already have asked stations and cable networks to set aside $44 million in advertising time. Their spending reflects the significant fundraising advantage Democrats have built over Republicans. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ended April with $43.5 million in the bank and is set to spend that same sum on ads, starting in August.