The DCCC revealed its hand a few weeks ago. Now it’s the NRCC’s turn, reserving $22 million in ad time in 40 districts around the country and drawing up a target list that includes a number of junior House Democrats but also a few powerful veterans like Budget Committee chairman Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) and Appropriations Committee stalwart Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas).
While the Democrats stuck largely to defense — choosing to shore up vulnerable incumbents in 54 of the 60 districts where they reserved ad time — Republicans are going on the offensive. 39 of the 40 seats covered by the NRCC’s buy are currently held by Democrats. (Politico has a full list of the districts here.)
The disparity between the numbers of districts staked out by the two committees tell a larger story, however, in which the ambitions of the Republican committees are getting hampered by their lack of funds. The DCCC’s ad buy was for over $49 million, shoring up some vulnerable incumbents that the NRCC concluded it simply didn’t have the resources to go after. Whether independent expenditure groups, who can’t coordinate with the party but can very easily look at the NRCC’s preliminary fall list, take a cue and fill in the spending gaps remains to be seen.