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Senate Republicans canceling $4 million in Marco Rubio ads to focus on closer races

WASHINGTON — Confident of keeping a seat, Senate Republicans are canceling $4 million in TV ads for Florida's Marco Rubio to put more money toward winning a trio of Democratic-held seats — in California, Pennsylvania and Illinois — where polls show races tightening.

The moves are the latest in a constantly shifting battleground as Republicans seek to take advantage of a political tailwind by broadening their footprint. Democrats are narrowing their focus to places they must win to keep their Senate and House majorities.

With little more than two weeks before Nov. 2, both sides are deciding where to spend limited resources even as donations continue to pour in.

House Democrats, who reported raising $15.9 million in September and have $41.6 million in the bank, plan to spend at least $60 million in TV ads and get-out-the-vote efforts in key races in the election's final days. They plan to run ads in 56 to 65 races over the next two weeks.

It's a 2-1 advantage over the overall spending planned by House Republicans, who had been outspending their counterparts over the past seven weeks. They raised $11.2 million and had $19 million in the bank at the end of September. But the figures are somewhat misleading because their candidates are getting an enormous amount of help from GOP-aligned groups. Next week, House Republicans or GOP-leaning outside groups plan to spend money in a whopping 82 or more competitive or could-be-close contests.

In Florida, Rubio is so far ahead in polls that the GOP feels comfortable spending its money elsewhere, according to GOP officials familiar with the plans. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss strategy.

Senate Republicans canceling $4 million in Marco Rubio ads to focus on closer races 10/14/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 14, 2010 10:00pm]
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