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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

Biden's Day 1 challenges: The immigration reset

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President-elect Biden has an aggressive Day One immigration agenda that relies heavily on executive actions to undo President Trump's crackdown.

Why it matters: It's not that easy. Trump issued more than 400 executive actions on immigration. Advocates are fired up. The Supreme Court could threaten the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and experts warn there could be another surge at the border.

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.