Dem Group, Union Spend $20M on Ads for House Races

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A Democratic super PAC and a major labor union are joining forces and reserving nearly $20 million in ad time for the fall in a bid to topple Republicans from power in the U.S. House.

The airtime bought by the House Majority PAC and the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) means TV commercials helping Democratic incumbents and candidates will be seen in at least 47 competitive House districts.

Democrats need 25 seats to claim majority control in the House.

Despite being outspent by Republicans and their allies in independent groups, the House Majority PAC scored victories in special elections this year in New York and Arizona. Democrats Kathy Hochul and Ron Barber were elected in those races.

"The Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and Karl Rove have deep pockets, but House Majority PAC has a proven ability to spend efficiently and effectively and win races," said Alixandria Lapp, executive director of House Majority PAC.

She was referring to the campaign spending of the billionaire brothers, David and Charles Koch, who helped found the advocacy group Americans for Prosperity. Adelson, a casino developer and one of the world's richest men, is a major donor to GOP super PACs. And Rove, President George W. Bush's top strategist, helped found American Crossroads, a major GOP super PAC that's one of the biggest players in the 2012 campaign.

By reserving ad time now, House Majority PAC and SEIU can lock in lower advertising rates. This is only the first of what is expected to be several major ad buys to help Democrats win in November.

Under this ad buy, House Majority PAC is putting in $16 million and SEIU is spending $3.7 million to air commercials in 38 TV markets.

This story first appeared in USA Today.