Yesterday, POLITICO reported that the DCCC had made major ad television ad buys in several targeted Congressional races throughout the nation. According to the article $8,316,000 is being invested by the DCCC into various Florida media markets.
Tallahassee and Panama City media markets: $828,000
Orlando media market: $2,530,000
Tampa/St Petersburg media market: $2,498,000 (includes Sarasota/Bradenton sub market)
West Palm Beach media market: $656,000
Miami/Fort Lauderdale media market: $1,804,000
Based on the size of the specific buys we can infer a few things. The Democrats have not yet determined how viable Patrick Murphy’s challenge to Allen West will be but they are spending a fair amount of money on the race, but nothing overwhelming just yet. Also, it appears that the DCCC is hoping to win the open 22nd Congressional district which West is abandoning without spending a whole lot of party money.
The Democrats are all in to try and back Alan Grayson’s efforts in the new open seat and quite possibly Val Demmings upstart candidacy against incumbent Dan Webster. On Florida’s west coast, the Democrats appear ready to spend lots of money against Vern Buchanan in the Sarasota-based 16th district which is trending Democratic. It is possible some of the large Tampa/St Pete media market buy is being spent in the Pinellas County based district held by Bill Young but the Democrats have learned through the years to wait for Young’s retirement before targeting the original Florida GOP district. (William Cramer, Florida’s first post-reconstruction Republican Congressman, was elected from this district in 1952 and it has remained in GOP hands since although the area has trended Democratic since the early 1990s).
Further south in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale media market the heavy buy appears to be targeting embattled Rep. David Rivera though the Democrats inability to recruit a top tier challenger may indicate some of that money is being spent in the House District 22 race mentioned above which covers two media markets (West Palm Beach and Miami/Fort Lauderdale).
Given the Congressional Democrats success in Florida in the 2006 and 2008 elections a commitment is being clearly shown with this spending. While the DCCC has recruited the right candidate in Fla-22 with Lois Frankel, they have likely picked the wrong candidate in Fla-9 in Alan Grayson. That might explain the bigger buy in the Orlando media market, despite the overwhelming Democratic tilt of the new 9th district. Also note spending $828,000 in the Tallahassee and Panama City media markets buys significantly more ad time than $1,804,000 in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale media market, so no doubt exists that Steve Southerland is a top Democratic national target.