From MSNBC’s “First Read”:

“Earlier this summer, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it was reserving $49 million in TV airtime in 60 congressional districts across the country, 54 of which are currently held by Democrats. Now, Politico writes, the National Republican Congressional Committee is responding by reserving $22 million in TV airtime in 40 districts, 39 of which are Dem-held seats. Facing a 2-to-1 cash-on-hand disadvantage to its Dem counterpart, the NRCC is concentrating its finite resources on what it considers its top pick-up opportunities, rather than spreading it out among a larger universe of Dem-held districts.”

According to Politico, of the forty districts the NRCC reserved ad time for, only three are in Ohio: OH-01 (Driehaus/Chabot rematch), OH-15 (Kilroy/Stivers rematch), and OH-16 (Boccieri/Renacci).

In other words, the NRCC isn’t invested in more House seats than you were expected in a “non-tide” election.  What’s interesting about the list is that it’s a relatively small field of three races—two of which were expected nationally targeted races as they are merely rematches of close 2008 elections.

What’s interesting about the NRCC’s choices is what’s races they’ve left out: OH-06 (Wilson v. Johnson), OH-9 (Kaptur v. Iott), OH-13 (Sutton v. Ganley), and OH-18 (Space v. Gibbs).  Each of these races were races Ohio conservatives (and the Carpetblogger) were talking up for the past year as nationally “targeted” races by the NRCC.  Now, there’s no commitment to help them from the most obvious source: the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Some might say that facing a 2:1 disadvantage, the NRCC is making a strategic decision to support the Republicans who cannot self-fund their campaign.  However, OH-16 sticks out like a sore thumb to that argument.  As I noted in the last FEC report, Renacci is a self-funder, but finds himself at a 2:1 cash-on-hand disadvantage to Boccieri.  As such, if Renacci’s fortunes don’t improve, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this race fall of the NRCC’s charts come October as it appears it’s on the bubble to do.

The DCCC, and the district’s demographics, will help Sutton hold off Ganley’s checkbook.  Ganley and Gibbs, it should be noted, actually share a joint campaign committee.  We’ll see if that brings Gibbs back onto the NRCC’s radar come October, but I doubt it.

In other words, at least from a NRCC/DCCC investment standpoint, I’m not seeing a different field of play than what I would have expected immediately after the 2008 elections, except I am surprised to see the GOP pushing against Boccieri instead of Space.  However, that is entirely explained away by the fact that Boccieri simply didn’t build as big of a financial advantage against his self-funding opponent than Space did against freshman State Senator Gibbs.

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