The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee canceled a week of airtime in Rep. Allen West's (R-Fla.) district starting Oct. 9, according to multiple sources tracking the buy.
Democrats cite a substantial House Majority PAC buy — $1 million over a few weeks including Oct. 9 — as the reason they pulled their reservation in the West Palm Beach market that week.
It's almost never a good sign when a committee cuts airtime for a candidate. The cancellation comes on the heels of the DCCC's move to cancel a second weeklong buy for Rep. Larry Kissell's (D-N.C.) tough re-election bid.
But unlike Kissell's bid, the Florida race remains competitive — at least compared with other Democratic pickup opportunities (Roll Call rates it as Leans Republican). And the DCCC has given no other indication that it's ready to give up on the race, either.
A recent Democratic poll showed the race as a dead heat. Also, the DCCC kept its ad reservations for the race in the final three weeks before Election Day — at least for now.
"Patrick Murphy is ahead in the polls, and we've committed the resources to ensure he can win," said Jesse Ferguson, a DCCC spokesman. "But the best resource for him to win this race is letting Allen West be Allen West."
House Republicans argued the cancellation is a sign the DCCC is cutting off the Florida race.
"By all appearances, national Democrats are throwing in the towel on Patrick Murphy's sinking campaign," National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Nat Sillin said. "The more voters get to know Murphy and his policies, the less they like him — and now even his party leaders are abandoning ship."