The National Republican Congressional Committee will go up with television and digital ads in three districts this week targeting Democratic incumbents the committee hopes to pick off in 2016, according to a source with knowledge of the buys.
The NRCC will spend a combined six-figure sum on a month's worth of ads hitting Democratic Reps. Scott Peters, Brad Ashford and Rick Nolan on national security issues, according to the source. The early buy is a sign Republicans will still play offense against vulnerable House Democrats in 2016, even as the GOP defends a number of seats Democrats often carry in presidential cycles.
"Brad Ashford voted to cut funding for troops fighting the war on terror, and to end airstrikes against ISIS. Ashford even voted to allow suspected terrorists to be released from Guantanamo Bay," a narrator says in the 30-second spot, which will air on cable in Omaha and online. "Brad Ashford's record? Dangerous."
Ashford represents a district GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried by a 7-point margin in 2012, making him one of the most vulnerable House Democrats this cycle. His race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call.
Peters and Nolan — who will also be targeted by ads that focus on national security — represent competitive districts.
Republicans have yet to recruit a top-tier candidate to take on Peters, a prolific fundraiser who survived a bruising re-election battle in 2014 to win a second term.
Nolan, whose northeastern Minnesota-based district went to President Barack Obama by a 6-point margin in 2012, is also without a top-tier opponent. However he could face a rematch with the Republican he defeated in 2014: Republican businessman Stewart Mills.
Both Peters and Nolan's races are rated Safe Democratic contests by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.
The NRCC will also go up with about $21,000 worth of radio spots in Florida's 26th District this week, praising freshman GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo's record on environmental protection.
Curbelo is one of the most vulnerable GOP incumbents, facing re-election in a Miami-based district that Obama carried twice, though a mandated redraw could make the district slightly more favorable to Curbelo's re-election chances. His race is rated a Tilts Republican contest.
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