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.

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a statement Sunday that she opposes holding a Senate confirmation vote on President Trump's nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election.

Why it matters: Murkowski joins Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) as one of two Republican senators who have thus far said that they do not support rushing through a confirmation vote before November. Two more defections would likely force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resort to holding a vote in the lame-duck session, which neither Murkowski nor Collins have addressed.

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Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan's head of the Sovereign Council, meets with Bahraini aid officials in Khartoum, Sept. 15. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty Images

U.S., Emirati and Sudanese officials will hold a decisive meeting in Abu Dhabi on Sunday on a possible normalization agreement between Sudan and Israel, Sudanese sources told me.

Why it matters: If the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates accommodate Sudan’s requests for economic aid, an announcement on a normalization agreement with Israel similar to the ones struck with the UAE and Bahrain could be made within days, sources briefed on the process tell me.