A super PAC backing Democrats in Congress has walked away from ad reservations in a race in the Philadelphia suburbs.
The House Majority Political Action Committee said it canceled $575,000 of ad time in Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District. Democrat Manan Trivedi is pitted against Republican Ryan Costello, chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners, for the seat being now held by Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach.
House Majority PAC spokesman Matt Thornton would not say why the PAC withdrew the ad reservations.
Thornton said the House Majority PAC still has ad time reserved in the Philadelphia area for the final two weeks before the Nov. 4 election. The PAC hasn’t decided yet whether that will be used to influence the race between Trivedi and Costello.
“Obviously, there must be polling that the Democrats are looking at that shows that they cannot win this race,” said Larry Ceisler, a longtime political consultant in Philadelphia.
Ceisler said groups such as the House Majority PAC have an “undue” influence on elections.
“When these PACs pull out, it becomes very difficult for those candidates to raise money,” he said, “because people say, ‘Well, why am I giving money to this person when their own party says they can’t win?’ … It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Ian Prior, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said, “This is a sign of weakness in Trivedi’s candidacy, and a sign that Democrats nationally do not see the 6th District of Pennsylvania as a district that they have a realistic chance of winning.”
Marc Brumer, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the Republicans’ assessment of the race is not fair.
“No amount of rhetoric from Ryan Costello and his special interest allies can change the fact that he is a rubberstamp for the far right-wing agenda,” said Brumer, “that stacks the deck in favor of the ultra-wealthy by shifting the burden onto hardworking Pennsylvania families.”
Citing the House Majority PAC’s outside spending, Trivedi’s campaign declined to comment.
The Rothenberg Political Report has characterized the race as “Republican favored.”