Politics

NRCC Buys Cable Time to Help Boost Joe Walsh

National Republicans are reserving TV airtime to help freshman Rep. Joe Walsh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

So much for the National Republican Congressional Committee leaving Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) out to dry.

The committee reserved about $457,800 on cable stations in Illinois' 8th district for spots to run Oct. 5 through Election Day, multiple sources confirmed to Roll Call. It's a significant buy, but it doesn't reach saturation level.

For months, national GOP operatives privately conceded Walsh would lose his re-election bid against Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) in the suburban Chicago, Democratic-leaning district. Duckworth is still favored to win, but there are signs the race has become more competitive.

Last week, a super PAC dropped $810,000 on advertisements to boost Walsh. National Republicans have been circulating internal GOP polls showing the race in a statistical dead heat.

Roll Call rates this race as Likely Democratic, but that could change soon.

The stations included in the NRCC's reservation are A&E, Discovery, ESPN, Fox News, HGTV and the History Channel, according to a source who follows ad buys. The following suburbs are covered by the reservation: Mt. Prospect, Schaumburg, Bloomingdale, Rolling Meadows, St. Charles and Wheaton.

Like any TV time reservation, the NRCC can pull the buy if the committee changes its mind about Walsh's prospects.