WASHINGTON — National Democrats are buying ad time to protect a suddenly vulnerable, first-term Nevada congressman as a handful of House races turn more competitive within days of midterm elections.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will partner with Rep. Steve Horsford's campaign to air commercials in the Las Vegas broadcast market through Election Day, a Democratic official said Friday. The official, who was not authorized to be identified discussing party strategy, did not disclose the amount of the buy.
The move comes in response to the $820,000 that the Karl Rove-founded Crossroads GPS is spending in the district targeting Horsford. Democrats also have been unnerved by a low turnout in early voting in the Democratic-leaning district.
"I have faith and confidence in the voters of Nevada's 4th District," Horsford said in a statement earlier this week. "They saw through Karl Rove's misleading campaign in 2012, and they will not be fooled by a last-minute, million-dollar, out-of-state shadowy campaign."
Former President Bill Clinton will headline a "vote early, vote now" rally for Democratic candidates, including Horsford, on Tuesday in Las Vegas, the party said Friday.
President Barack Obama's low approval ratings and a sour public mood are a drag on Democrats, who have shifted money to save several of their most vulnerable incumbents. Less than two weeks to the Nov. 4 election, the two parties and outside groups are spending money on races that hadn't been considered competitive.
In West Virginia, the Democrats are spending close to $600,000 on the seat held by Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who is running for the Senate. Democrats are optimistic about the chances of former state party chairman Nick Casey defeating Republican Alex Mooney, the former chairman of the Maryland Republican Party who moved to the state.
The National Republican Congressional Committee responded with its own ad buy.
Sensing an opening, the GOP also is spending in two Democratic-held seats in Iowa.
In Nevada, Horsford had been considered a heavy favorite as he raised five times the campaign cash as his Republican opponent, Cresent Hardy.
Hardy, a two-term Nevada assemblyman, has had to answer for his comment concurring with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remark. Romney was widely criticized during his 2012 presidential campaign after saying 47 percent of voters don't pay income taxes and believe they are victims.