As the 2022 Midterm elections near, there are 35 U.S House seats considered as toss-up races according to the most recent Cook Political Report. Five of these toss-up districts are located in west coast states, Washington, Oregon, and California. Following redistricting maps in 2020, many districts’ partisanship has shifted, potentially impacting these toss-up races. With the 2022 election crucial for Democrats to keep their majority or for Republicans to take the House, candidates and PACs across the country have poured millions into advertisements. We will explore spending on in the top five rated house races on the west coast in this toss-up spending analysis, WA CD-08, OR CD-05, CA CD-22, CA CD-13, and CA CD-27.

In Washington’s 8th Congressional District, Democrat incumbent Kim Schrier fights to keep her seat against Republican candidate Matt Larkin. New redistricting maps have expanded the 8th District further into Northern and Eastern Washington, potentially putting Schrier’s seat at risk. There has been a total of $19.9M spent in the WA CD-08 General election, with over $5.21M coming from Schrier’s campaign. In all five of the west coast toss-up races, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), has placed millions in ads supporting Republican candidates. For WA CD-08, CLF has placed $5.28M on ads attacking Schrier. Along with CLF, the NRCC has spent $2.04M on advertisements. Democrat PACs have also spent a substantial amount on advertisements; House Majority PAC has spent $3.38M and DCCC has spent $1.99M. We have seen $807K in ad spending from Larkin’s campaign, a fraction of what Schrier and PACs are spending for this crucial race.

The race for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District is heating up with Election Day around the corner. Candidates Jamie McLeoud-Skinner (D) and Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R) have been continuously spending since the primary election. This seat used to be a Democrat stronghold, but changed to a toss-up when McLeoud-Skinner won the Democratic primary in May. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, this race is considered 1 of the 10 “tipping point districts” for the House election. In a consequential race like this, there has expectantly been millions spent in political advertisements. For candidate spending, Chavez-DeRemer has spent $485K, while the NRCC/Chavez-DeRemer coordinated buy has spent $625K. Democrat candidate McLeod-Skinner has spent over $1.2M for the general election. The top three spenders in this race are issue groups; House Majority PAC, CLF, and DCCC, totaling $8.5M. The top spender is Congressional Leadership Fund, supporting Republican Chavez-DeRemer with $5.94M spent on ads so far. CLF has primarily spent on broadcast ads in the Portland market, targeting issues such as crime in the city, law enforcement, and high taxes. The DCCC has spent $2.24M on ads against Chavez-DeRemer, also in the Portland market. These ads have focused heavily on the Republican candidate’s anti-abortion beliefs and calling her an out of touch extremist. This falls in line with messaging by Democrats across the country, highlighting reproductive rights.

With 52 California U.S House seats up for grabs, three of these seats are deemed toss-up races. Looking at team party spending for the three CA toss-up races, we see Republican candidates and issue groups outspending Democrat candidates and issue groups. Issue groups are the biggest spenders in all three races; consisting of the NRCC, CLF, House Majority PAC, and DCCC. In both CA CD-22 and CA CD-27 the NRCC is the top spending advertiser, with $6.1M spent in CA-22 and $3.3M spent in CA-27, while in CA CD-13, CLF is the top spender with $5.8M. Advertisements from the two PACs have attacked the Democrat candidates in these races focusing on high taxes, inflation, and gas prices in California. The issue of taxes and inflation has been a common focus in attack ads against Democrats in races across the country. California’s 27th Congressional District’s new map has expanded into a more diverse area of Los Angeles and cut out Simi Valley, a known conservative area. The new redistricting has possibly changed the partisan landscape of the 27th district, giving Democrats a better shot at winning the seat. In this specific race, Republican candidate Mike Garcia has spent $1.7M. The NRCC and CLF have spent a combined $4.9M supporting Garcia in this race. Spending in favor of Mike Garcia is more than spending for the Democratic candidate, Christy Smith. Her campaign has spent a mere $844K. Interestingly, there has been no spending from the DCCC and HMP in this race, Planned Parenthood has spent $16K in support of Christy Smith. In CA CD-22 and CA CD-13, the spending between parties is nearly equivalent

In all five races highlighted, Republicans are outspending Democrats. Most of this spending is coming out of Republican SuperPACs, Congressional Leadership Fund and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Aside from WA CD-08, candidate spending is relatively low when compared to PAC spending from both parties. With November 8th one week away, there is still time for spending, as well as which way these races will lean, to change.

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