The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has cut its advertising in Florida's 18th district, the home of a fiercely competitive race between Rep. Allen West (R) and Democrat Patrick Murphy.
The independent expenditure arm of the DCCC had originally reserved about $96,000 in the West Palm Beach media market from Oct. 16-22. That reservation has now been canceled, a Democratic source familiar with the buys told Roll Call today.
The move comes after House Majority PAC, the Democratic-aligned third-party group, boosted its presence in the district from about $1 million to about $1.5 million.
Over the course Oct. 16-22, House Majority PAC is scheduled to spend about $275,000. That number, however, is unchanged from its initial reservation. That means that with the DCCC cancellation, there will now be fewer anti-West ads on air during that critical week in October.
Democrats note that Democratic groups are scheduled to be outspending Republican groups over the course of that week. The Murphy campaign and the Service Employees International Union have reserved time from Oct. 16-22. The West campaign and a pro-West super PAC also appear poised to be on air.
West and Murphy are locked in a vicious ad war. West recently released a stinging ad, first reported by Roll Call, highlighting Murphy's arrest at a Miami club in 2003. Murphy today launched a tough shot back at West, expounding on the Army's 2003 disciplining of the then-lieutenant colonel.
West announced today that he had raised more than $4 million in the third quarter and had more than $3 million in cash on hand at the end of last month. Murphy announced Monday that he had raised more than $1 million in the quarter, but he didn't announce a cash-on-hand figure.
The DCCC has spent about $250,000 on anti-West ads in the district so far this cycle.
Roll Call rates the race as Leans Republican.