By JOHN DiSTASO, News Editor
CONCORD — National Democrats are reserving television broadcast airtime for advertising to defend the state’s three incumbent members of Congress for the weeks leading up to the November general election.
New Hampshire Journal has learned that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has reserved just more than $1 million worth of broadcast airtime in Manchester for the seven weeks leading to the general election, beginning a week after the Sept. 9 primary. The money would be spent helping Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s reelection bid.
The reserved time is valued at $115,650 for the period of Tuesday, Sept. 16 through Monday, Sept. 22, and ramps up weekly to $193,400 for the period from Tuesday, Oct. 28, through Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4.
The figures, provided by a Republican source that tracks television ad buys, do not appear to include reservations for cable broadcast time or on Boston broadcast television.
(Thursday afternoon update: The Washington Post reported this afternoon that the $1 million reserved for Shaheen is included in reservations totaling more than $5 million in three battleground states – including $2.9 million in Colorado, where Sen. Mark Udall is facing a tough challenge from Republican Rep. Corey Gardner; and $1.8 million in Arkansas for Sen. Mark Pryor, who faces GOP Rep. Tom Cotton.)
This week the Democratic Party appears to be reserving airtime for all federal candidates it wants to defend, perhaps because they are viewed as vulnerable, and for GOP-held seats in other states the party wants to challenge.
RollCall.com reported earlier today that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which focuses on U.S. House races, has reserved $43.5 million in television airtime in 36 targeted House districts 19 held by Democrats.
According to Roll Call, in New Hampshire, the DCCC for the period Oct. 7 to 20 reserved $1.7 million Boston-Manchester broadcast television; $650,000 on Manchester station WMUR ; and $200,000 on Boston-Manchester cable.
As Roll Call pointed out, the markets for the state’s two congressional districts overlap, so it is unclear based on the reservations to pinpoint how the money will be split defending 1st District Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and 2nd District Rep. Ann Kuster.
By reserving airtime, the DSCC and DCCC may not have actually purchased the time, yet. As Roll Call pointed out, parties can cancel or change these reservations until shortly before the ads air in most cases.