Have House Republicans Given Up In Nevada?

The National Republican Congressional Committee finally joined its peers when it announced its first batch of fall TV ad reservations on Tuesday, making it the last of the four largest outside groups involved in House races to do so.

The NRCC’s bookings total $42.2 million across 29 different media markets, which the committee says is intended to target 22 districts. As is typical for such announcements, though, the NRCC largely did not identify specific races.

In addition, a press release said the committee was reserving $45.7 million overall, though adding up the provided market-by-market figure only gets you to that lower $42.2 million number. (It’s possible the difference is intended for digital advertising, which is reserved differently.)

To help match markets to districts, we’ve added this latest batch of reservations to Daily Kos Elections’ continually updated tracker. All told, Republicans (including the NRCC and the Congressional Leadership Fund) have booked $183 million so far, while Democrats (that is, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the House Majority PAC) have reserved $163 million in TV time.

But the GOP’s planned spending is more narrowly concentrated and skips over some major markets where Democrats are investing heavily, most notably Las Vegas, Boston, and Washington, DC. While groups like these can and always do add additional reservations later in the cycle, the omission of Las Vegas is particularly striking.

That’s because airtime in Nevada will grow increasingly expensive and scarce, with hotly contested races for the White House and the Senate crowding out media buyers seeking to play in Vegas’ three competitive House districts.

These include the 1st and 3rd Districts, where the NRCC and CLF together spent almost $20 million in 2022. But it may not have been money well-spent: Republicans skipped over the similarly swingy 4th District last cycle, yet the Democratic incumbents in all three races scored the exact same share of the vote, 52%.

That seeming futility may have made the GOP gun-shy, though it would still be remarkable if the party is genuinely writing these districts off. If they aren’t, though, the longer they wait to get involved, the shorter their dollars will stretch.

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.

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