The cash-flush Congressional Leadership Fund is adding millions more to its fall advertising strategy, putting it on track for the ambitious goal of raising and spending $100 million to keep Republicans in control of the House of Representatives. As of this week, the CLF, which is aligned with retiring House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, will have reserved $60 million in advertising — $50 million in TV, $10 million in digital — across 33 districts.
At the same time, the new ad reservations demonstrate how the midterms are being fought on Republican turf. The new buy includes California’s 39th District, New Jersey’s 7th District and New York’s 19th District. The California seat, which backed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign by 8.6 points, pits a former Republican state legislator against a Democratic recruit who can self-fund his campaign; the New Jersey and New York seats are held by Reps. Leonard Lance and John Faso, who opposed Ryan’s signature achievement, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
In an interview, CLF President Corry Bliss said last Tuesday’s primaries had seen “encouraging” levels of Republican turnout, and the New Jersey and New York seats fit into “our mission, which is holding on to the House.” In New York, the super PAC was particularly encouraged by a scrambled left-wing field, which will include the eventual Democratic nominee, a Working Families Party nominee, a Green Party nominee and potentially a “Law and Order” star who is petitioning her way onto the ballot as an independent.
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