With 39 days left until the midterm elections, the National Republican Congressional Committee has increased its total financial commitment in Democratic-held districts. The NRCC has now committed a total of $35 million to advertising in 55 districts for the fall campaign. House Republicans are now spending, or planning to spend, in well more than the 39 seats needed to win the majority. The committees initial ad reservation was $22 million in 41 districts.According to a GOP source with knowledge of the committees thinking, this is just the beginning of an aggressive strategy to capitalize on the favorable political climate.There is plenty more coming, the source said.Of the 55 districts the NRCC is spending in, just one is held by a Republican: Illinois 10th district, which Rep. Mark Kirk is vacating to run for Senate. The latest targets, Roll Call confirmed with the source, include two open seats in Massachusetts and Washington, as well as four Democratic incumbents: Reps. Ike Skelton (Mo.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Christopher Carney (Pa.) and Steve Kagen (Wis.).In Washington, Rep. Brian Bairds retirement opened the door for one of the top open-seat battles between Republican Jaime Herrera and Democrat Denny Heck. Its one of a couple Democratic districts in play in the state. Massachusetts 10th district is one of the latest additions to the competitive map this cycle, as Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) is retiring after never having a close re-election race.Other recent additions to the NRCCs target list have included districts in Virginia and North Carolina and two in Arizona. The NRCC has reserved airtime in three districts each in Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Virginia, as well as five districts in Pennsylvania.The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reserved $48 million in TV time in 60 districts, all but six of which are districts it is defending. It has been shifting its reservations in several states since the initial reservations, but the committee did not respond to a request for an update on its commitment.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.