The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently cancelled about $800,000 in television reservations for Illinois’ competitive 10th District race, where former Rep. Brad Schneider is looking to reclaim his seat from Republican Rep. Robert J. Dold.
That’s not because Democrats suddenly think they’ve got the race locked up. The contest remains a tossup. The DCCC is simply moving the money from its independent expenditure side (which cannot coordinate with campaigns) to the coordinated side.
In other words, that $800,000 will still help Schneider. But by moving those resources away from the IE side, the DCCC can work more closely with the campaign. The DCCC and the campaign can produce coordinated ads, in which the committee uses so-called 441 money to pay for ads on behalf of Schneider.
The DCCC and Schneider’s campaign can also produce “hybrid ads” where they split the cost of an ad that benefits both Schneider and the Democratic party in general. A recent joint effort took aim at “Dold and the Republicans” in a hybrid ad.
Hybrid ads allow both the committee and the candidate to save money since neither is paying for the full cost of the ad.
Campaigns are subject to tighter contribution limits than the committees, so it’s a good deal for them to have the committee take up some of the cost.
And the committees get a good deal, too, because they effectively air an ad that benefits their entire party for cheaper than normal. Hybrid ads are charged the candidate rate, which is cheaper than the rate parties and their committees usually have to pay.