A super PAC that seeks to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives is reserving $1.1 million in Miami TV time ahead of the 2018 elections, the first of what could be millions in outside TV spending in two competitive Miami congressional races.
House Majority PAC announced Thursday it has reserved just over $43 million for television ads in the final weeks of the 2018 election cycle nationwide. The outlay includes $1,119,500 in Miami and $420,000 in West Palm Beach.
“The Republicans are panicking about losing their majority in the House, because they know that across the country Democrats have top-notch candidates running, and there’s a surge in grassroots participation,” House Majority PAC Executive Director Charlie Kelly said in a statement. “2018 will bring a barrage of frantic negative attack ads from GOP outside groups, but HMP is ensuring we’re prepared early-on to fight back. Momentum is on our side, and with smart, strategic investments, we will help Democrats win across the country.”
The largest chunk of the $43 million is $5.2 million for the Los Angeles media market, while the group is spending more than $2 million in the Dallas, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Minneapolis media markets.
The most competitive House election in Miami is expected to be incumbent Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo's race against Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Curbelo represents a Miami-to-Key West seat that leans Democratic, though he enjoys a sizable lead in fundraising along with greater name recognition. Multiple election prognosticators rate Curbelo's seat as a toss up.
The race to replace retiring Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen could also get some attention from national groups, though Democrats are favored to flip a seat that Hillary Clinton won by over 19 percentage points in 2016.
The other two incumbents whose districts fall mostly within the Miami media market, Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson, have not drawn serious challengers yet.
Treasure Coast Republican Rep. Brian Mast, whose district includes parts of Palm Beach County, is also facing a competitive reelection bid.