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Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., at a campaign rally on Oct. 16, 2022, in East Lansing.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., at a campaign rally on Oct. 16, 2022, in East Lansing.Bill Pugliano / Getty Images file

GOP now has edge in House ad-spending for "toss up" seats

But Democrats are outspending Republicans in more races rated competitive by The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter.


Republicans are spending more since Labor Day than Democrats in about 60% of the House races deemed most competitive by The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, a new NBC News Political Unit analysis of ad spending shows.

Looking at ad dollars booked and spent after Labor Day (per the ad-tracking firm AdImpact), the GOP has the edge in 20 House races rated "toss ups" by The Cook Political Report, compared to 12 races where Democrats have the ad spending edge. Overall, Republicans have $224 million to $209 million advantage in "toss up" seats — which feature 14 Democratic incumbents, six Republican incumbents and 12 open/new/merged seats — over Democrats.

Democrats are spending more in the two "toss up" seats that have drawn the most recent cash — Michigan-07, where Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin is running against Republican state Sen. Tom Barrett, and Nevada-03, where Democratic Rep. Susie Lee faces off against Republican April Becker. But Republicans have the spending edge in 13 of the 20 most expensive "toss up" races, including Pennsylvania-07, Maine-02 and California-22.

The Cook Political Report's next-tier out from "toss up" includes those that "lean" toward either party — a group of seats that includes 16 seats leaning toward Democrat (10 incumbent Democrats, six open seats) and 12 leaning toward Republicans (three incumbent Democrats, four incumbent Republicans and five open seats).

Democrats have the recent spending edge in 17 of the 28 "lean" seats, an overall spending edge of $105 million to $87 million, a trend that isn't surprising considering most of those seats are where Democrats are playing defense.

Overall, Democrats are outspending Republicans recently in 48 of the 85 races rated competitive by the Cook Political Report.