GOP reveals midterm blueprint


The GOP blueprint for winning control of the House is rapidly coming into focus, with the National Republican Congressional Committee readying a $22 million TV ad blitz aimed at a handful of powerful, long-serving incumbents and several dozen of the most junior members of the Democratic majority.

POLITICO has learned that the Republican campaign arm will invest in 40 districts around the nation in its first wave of television commercial reservations – a target list that ranges from powerful veterans such as Budget Committee Chairman Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) and Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas), an Appropriations Committee cardinal, to endangered freshmen legislators including Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), and Rep. Harry Teague (D-N.M.).

The reservations, which were confirmed to POLITICO by several senior party officials familiar with the buy, provide the clearest snapshot yet of the GOP’s strategy for erasing the 39-seat Democratic advantage in the House—an approach that is contingent on picking off a large number of Democrats elected in 2006 and 2008, in addition to a handful of longtime incumbents.

While Democrats have reserved ad time in 60 races to date, the vast majority of those reservations—54 of them—are designed to protect vulnerable incumbents. Republicans, on the other hand, are investing in an almost entirely offensive effort. Of the 40 seats covered in the NRCC buy, 39 are currently held by Democrats.

The bulk of the Democrats in the crosshairs are vulnerable first-term legislators sitting in Republican-oriented seats. Many are clustered in the South, including Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.), Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.), Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) and Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.).

Republicans are also looking toward a handful of Republican-leaning seats that have been left vacant by Democratic retirements. Among them: Arkansas’s 1st District, Indiana’s 8th District, Kansas’s 3rd District, and Tennessee’s 8th District.

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