Doherty scales back TV ad time for campaign’s final weeks

• Update: Cicilline tells backers he needs $40,000

Republican Brendan Doherty’s U.S. House campaign may not air as many television commercials as it had originally planned during the last two weeks of the race.

A Democratic source told Doherty’s campaign has cut his TV advertising reservations for the final stretch from $326,000 to $202,000. Doherty campaign manager Ian Prior confirmed a cut had been made but declined to provide specific numbers.

Prior said the commercial time was originally reserved last spring. “We reserve based on best-case scenarios,” he said. “We can certainly still go back and buy. … We’re operating off our cash on hand, being conservative and building it back in as we continue to raise money over the next three weeks.”

“Every campaign does a little bit of this at the end,” Prior said. “For us we have enough money to pay for our plan through the end, and to the extent we out-raise our goals, we’ll throw more into TV at the end.” He emphasized the campaign is spending more money on TV ads than originally budgeted overall, but said some of the money was spent earlier than originally planned.

“We do expect we’ll add some more,” Prior added.

Separately, a spokeswoman for Democratic Congressman David Cicilline confirmed his campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have done a coordinated TV buy through Oct. 29, with the Cicilline campaign buying ad time on its own starting Oct. 30.

Roll Call reports Cicilline has spent $418,000 on TV advertising so far and is currently scheduled to spend another $295,000. Doherty has spent $310,000 and has reserved another $335,000. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce backed Doherty with a $265,000 buy last spring, as well.

The Cicilline campaign began airing a new TV ad on Thursday called “Big Difference” that links Doherty with the national GOP, echoing the incumbent’s main line of attack during their high-profile WPRI 12 debate Tuesday. Doherty’s newest ad, “The Cicilline Cover Up,” debuted a week and a half ago.

Doherty had a significant financial advantage over Cicilline as of Sept. 30. The Republican’s campaign had $510,219 on hand while the Democrat’s had $240,962.

• Related: Analysis: Cicilline, Doherty hold two debates on one stage (Oct. 16)

This post has been updated.

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