Ad spending in the fight for the Republican presidential nomination has topped $100 million, with former President Donald Trump’s allies dominating national television spending, according to a new report.
Figures from the ad-tracking company AdImpact report that overall, more than $102 million has been spent on advertising, including streaming television spots and digital placements, this cycle, according to NBC News.
MAGA Inc., the super PAC backing Trump, has spent $18.5 million up until now on national television ads, more than every other Republican group and candidate combined.
In comparison, Never Back Down, the super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s closest rival, has spent more than $6 million on national television spots.
No other candidate has spent more than $2 million on television ads through this point, the report states.
Trump’s rivals are also mounting an effort to blunt his campaign in the key early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and to a lesser extent in South Carolina.
There has not been a great deal of ad spending outside the three early-voting states, showing how the challengers see those races as their best chance to blunt Trump’s overwhelming lead for the party’s nomination.
Spending from super PACs is also leading to an advertising fight that is growing quickly and hitting new forms of media beyond traditional television and radio spots.
But even without the digital options, Republicans through August have spent $80.5 million on TV and radio ads. In comparison, in 2019, Democrats competing in their party’s presidential primary had spent $15.1 million on television and radio.
In 2015, the last time Republicans had an open race for the presidential nomination, the party spent $13.5 million through August of that year.
Trump, as the GOP front-runner, is also featured in ads attacking President Joe Biden. One ad declares that “Trump’s dominating the race” while the text “Trump beats Biden … dominates GOP field” is shown on the screen.
While the former president is holding solid leads in polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire, his rivals for the nomination are dominating ad spending charts there.
Trump, DeSantis, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s campaigns are depending on spending from their super PACs, which are spending millions in the early states.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and his aligned super PAC are spending seven-figure amounts while he’s not only campaigning for the nomination but to get enough support so he can participate in the second GOP debate, scheduled for Sept. 27.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., meanwhile, is the only candidate whose super PAC and campaign have been advertising consistently on television. In addition to his well-funded super PAC, the Scott campaign also has high amounts of funding that he built up while serving as a senator and transferred to his campaign.
Candidates can also book ads at lower rates than super PACs and outside groups, so Scott’s money will give him the advantage of stretching his funds.
In Iowa spending:
- DeSantis’ Never Back Down super PAC has spent $5.5 million through the end of August.
- Scott’s campaign has spent $4.6 million in Iowa, and TIM PAC, the group backing him, has spent $2.9 million.
- Burgum has spent $2.6 million in Iowa, with he Best of America super PAC, which backs him, spending $2.7 million.
- Haley-associated super PAC Stand for America Fund Inc. has spent $2.9 million and Trump’s MAGA Inc. has spent $2.2 million.
New Hampshire is seeing similar numbers, with the super PACS behind Burgum and Scott topping the list, while the groups behind Haley, DeSantis, and Trump are also spending millions.
Meanwhile, at least one group, Never Back Down, backing DeSantis, has stopped its ground efforts in Nevada and California, with super PAC spokesperson Erin Perrine commenting the group wants “to reinvest in the first three” nominating states as they “are going to set the conditions for the March states.”
Jess Szymanski, another spokesperson with Never Back Down, told NBC News that the group is planning to reserve at least $25 million in ads in Iowa and New Hampshire. She also said the group is ramping up its ground game for DeSantis.
Never Back Down so far is the only PAC spending significant money in South Carolina, where it has spent more than $3.5 million.
Non-Trump candidates are also getting help from the conservative Club For Growth. It has spent about $6 million on anti-Trump ads, while not specifically backing a different candidate.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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