Party groups have reserved more than $2 million in fall television advertising time for the race in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, underscoring its status as a massive national priority.
The district leans Democratic and was held by that party for 20 years before U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican, won it over Democrat Emily Cain in 2014 in the most expensive House race in Maine history. Then, the campaigns spent $3.7 million and outside groups spent another $3 million for and against the candidates.
Their 2016 rematch is coming close to exceeding it as both parties heavily target the district. As of May, the candidates reported raising $3.8 million — led by Poliquin at $2.4 million — and the reservations from the House caucuses’ campaign arms would bring the outside total to approximately $2.3 million.
National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Chris Pack said Tuesday that his group has reserved $1.3 million in fall advertising time statewide. Filings with the Federal Election Commission show that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved at least $800,000 in time with stations in the Portland and Bangor markets.
This should be a seen as just a first round of reservations, and the party groups are likely to buy more ad time earlier in the election season. It also doesn’t include ads that will come from the Poliquin and Cain campaigns and other outside groups.
So, take heart, Mainers: This is only the beginning of the saturation of your airwaves in 2016, and the presidential race will only add to it.