An alliance of Republican groups is launching a $50 million advertising blitz this week in a final push to help the GOP win a majority in the House, representing the biggest spending blitz ever by such groups in a congressional election campaign.
The coordinated effort, which the groups have dubbed the "House surge strategy," tops what the official Republican House election committee expects to spend on television ads for the entire contest. It is aimed at the few dozen competitive races where Democratic candidates have significantly more money in the bank than their Republican opponents, eating into one of the Democrats' last financial advantages.
Democratic candidates, notably incumbents, have raised more cash than many of their Republicans rivals in this year's most competitive House races, according to a Wall Street Journal tally of Federal Election Commission data. In the 40 races deemed toss-ups by the Cook Political Report, a political handicapper, Democratic candidates had a combined $39.3 million of cash on hand as of June 30, the most-recent filing deadline. Republican candidates had $16.5 million in the bank.
Steven Law, who runs two of the Republican organizations, American Crossroads and its affiliate Crossroads GPS, said the effort was "aimed at putting Republicans over the top by evening out the financial disparities and dramatically expanding the field of battle."
The other two groups are the American Action Network, run by former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, and the Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity, a relative newcomer to the scene founded by Republican campaign consultant Scott Reed.
In the Denver suburbs, a $1.5 million ad purchase by the American Action Network will level the playing field for Republican Ryan Frazier, who is taking on two-term Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter. Frazier had only $252,000 on hand as of July 21, while Perlmutter had a war chest of $1.3 million,
"Conventional wisdom was that Democrats would have a sizable financial advantage in the 2010 elections—that will not be the case," said Rob Collins, president of the American Action Network.