A top National Republican Congressional Committee official said Monday that the group is likely to throw some support to Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett "fairly soon," but declined to elaborate on just how much it can afford to spend defending the vulnerable incumbent from Western Maryland.
"I wouldn't be surprised if you see an ad fairly soon," NRCC executive director Guy Harrison said during a press conference held here as part of the Republican National Convention. Pressed on where and when such an ad might run, Harrison was circumspect.
"He's working. He's working hard," Harrison said of Bartlett, the 10-term incumbent whose district was redrawn by Democrats in Annapolis last year. "If you're talking about network television, you know it's a million-dollar buy. So I don't know if anyone [will run network ads], but cable and mail and other stuff, I think you may see us involved."
Bartlett will need whatever help the NRCC and other outside groups can provide. Even though he had his best fundraising quarter ever earlier this year, he still brought in less than Democratic challenger John Delaney. Delaney, a Potomac banker, pumped millions of his own money into the primary in April in addition to raising significant sums of cash from others.
The group's Democratic counterpart has made Maryland's 6th District a priority on paper, though it's not yet clear whether it will put a lot of cash in, either, particularly if its leaders feel it isn't necessary.
Both campaign arms tend to prioritize close races. Independent political analysts such as the Rothenberg Political Report are now rating the district as favoring Delaney.