The National Republican Congressional Committee on Tuesday reserved $1 million in television airtime to defend Michigan Rep. Dan Benishek, according to a source tracking buys in the district.
The NRCC will go up Friday on Traverse City broadcast and stay up through Election Day in support of the two-term incumbent. The buy, which was not part of the NRCC's initial slew of ad reservations in June, is a signal the party views Benishek as vulnerable.
In 2012, Benishek squeaked his way to a second term by less than a point, even as Mitt Romney won the northern Michigan-based 1st District — which includes the Upper Peninsula — by an 8-point margin.
This time around, Democrats recruited former sheriff and retired Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon to run.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been up with $450,000 on TV — a sum that goes far in the Traverse City market — since the first week of September, with ads attacking Benishek. Cannon has also been up with a bio spot touting his service in the military and another ad attacking congressional perks.
While Benishek has been on the air since mid-July, he's currently being outspent on the TV airwaves — something that could move the needle in the race and account for the NRCC's new ad reservation.
Michigan's 1st District is rated a Tilts Republican contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
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