The Congressional Leadership Fund is investing another $13 million in television ads aimed at defending GOP-held seats across the country, all while expanding its reach into five new congressional districts.
CLF is already the biggest outside advertising spender in the battle for the House majority thanks to a massive fundraising effort, and the new reservations bring the group to a total of $85 million in television advertising reservations alone.
But the vast majority of that money is being spent on playing defense, and four of the five new targeted districts are currently held by Republicans. That expansion underscores the volatility of the House battlefield in November, where Democrats are mounting efforts in districts that previously seemed off limits.
CLF's expanding map brings new spending to defend Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, Michigan Rep. Fred Upton and North Carolina Rep. George Holding. It also added Nevada's 3rd Congressional District and New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District to the list as well, where Republicans Danny Tarkanian and Yvette Herrell are running respectively in open seats. Tarkanian's seat is the only one of the new additions that is currently held by a Democrat—Rep. Jacky Rosen is vacating the seat to run for Senate.
The group also added advertising spending to the following districts—CA-10; CA-39; CA-45; IL-12; KS-02; NY-19; NY-22; VA-07; TX-07; and WI-01.
So far, the group has primarily ran ads meant to disqualify Democratic candidates one-by-one with negative ads. In a recent memo, the group argued that it's efforts to protect Kentucky GOP Rep. Andy Barr has been effective because its internal polling has chipped away at the favorability of his Democratic opponent, Amy McGrath. That internal polling put Barr up by 4 points, while a New York Times/Siena College poll found Barr up by 1 point.