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Both parties will want to persuade last-minute undecided voters with advertisements. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

If you want a glimpse of how competitive the fight to take over the U.S. House has become in 2018, just turn on the TV.

Driving the news: Democrats and Republicans have spent nearly $40 million on more than 128,000 Congressional campaign ads through June 11, up 54% from the same period in 2014, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: There's a lot at stake for both parties this year, as they fight for the House majority in President Trump's first midterm election. Increased advertising and ad spending is a good indicator of which races are truly the most competitive.

By the numbers: Kantar Media, the political advertising tracking group behind Bloomberg's data, estimates that $2.4 billion will be spent on broadcast TV ads for races at all levels during the 2018 election cycle (that's 14% more than 2014 ad spend).

  • Campaign ads for House races have been broadcast in 112 of the country's 210 TV markets.
  • Kantar Media estimated spending will reach $850 million on local cable TV ads and $600 million for Internet ads.
  • The Congressional Leadership Fund has reserved $50 million for broadcast and cable ads in the coming months. Democratic groups will likely match this number or get close to it.

Be smart: Advertising will ramp up aggressively in the weeks leading up to the election, when both parties are hoping to snag last-minute undecided voters and encourage their base voters to actually show up to the polls.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.