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Democrats to spend $44m on ads to gain House seats

WASHINGTON — House Democrats are ready to empty their deep pockets for television ads in their uphill climb to overtake Republicans as the majority party.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee began asking television stations Thursday in 36 districts to set aside broadcast and cable advertising time for the fall’s campaign blitz.

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It comes to almost $44 million in ad requests, the most ever from the committee and the biggest so far this election year from a party-run campaign committee.

The level of detail in the spending plan telegraphs what races the Democrats plan to spend money on, and when. The party committee cannot coordinate with allies at super political action committees, but operatives can point to public sources such as news stories to ensure outside groups are not missing races or wasting money.

But the tactic comes with a risk. Republicans can now see when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to be on the air, and in what markets. In Massachusetts, the committee will pay $460,000 on cable ads and $965,000 for broadcast ads for the Boston-Manchester, N.H., market in October and November to help Representative John Tierney.

In all, the committee plans to spend money in 19 districts to defend incumbent Democrats, mostly newcomers, and in 17 districts that are in Republican hands.

The big spending might not be enough to tip the balance of power. House Republicans have 233 seats and Democrats have 199 seats. There are three vacancies.

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