The presidential campaign for Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is launching an $8 million advertisement buy, marking a second major investment by the campaign since Scott announced his presidential run three months ago.
According to a senior Scott official, the ad buy dedicates $6.6 million toward television ads. Scott will also launch a six-figure radio and digital ad campaign during that period. The television ads will air statewide in Iowa and New Hampshire, which are both early Republican nominating states, and run through the end of November.
The new investment follows an earlier ad buy of $6 million in May, which at the time was the largest single ad buy from a presidential candidate in the cycle.
While much of the Republican primary race has so far been defined by the ongoing legal challenges the party’s front-runner, former president Donald Trump, has faced, Scott has been looking for an opportunity to break through, attempting to distinguish himself as a candidate who leans on optimism, his record and his Christian faith. So far, however, Scott’s polling has remained in the single digits.
A Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday shows Scott trailing several Republican presidential candidates, standing at 3 percent support — the same as a Washington Post average of GOP primary polling. Trump leads in the Quinnipiac poll with 57 percent support among Republican or Republican-leaning voters.
One glimmer of hope for Scott may be Iowa. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed Scott coming in third in the state, garnering 9 percent of support among likely Republicans.
Ad spending in support of Scott goes beyond his campaign.
Trust in the Mission, a super PAC backing Scott, has also committed to spending tens of millions toward ad buys supporting his candidacy. The group’s latest ad buy of $40 million, which was announced in July, will begin in September and run through January 2024 — a move that is clearly intended to capture the attention of Republican donors who are trying to assess which campaign will have lasting power as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is a distant second in polls, falters. Similarly, the Scott official discussing the campaign’s new ad buy pointed out that the senator is the only candidate to have ads placed post-Labor Day.
According to data from the analytics company AdImpact, the Scott campaign’s total spending so far on broadcast, cable and satellite ad buys eclipses any other GOP presidential candidate. And Trust in the Mission has also outspent all other super PACs for television ad reservations seeking to elect other Republican presidential candidates, including Trump.
Scott began his White House bid in May with more than $22 million in cash on hand transferred from his Senate account. He raised $6.1 million for his campaign from more than 53,000 unique donors during the second quarter of this year.
Thursday’s ad buy announcement comes less than a week before candidates are set to take part in the first Republican presidential debate. Scott has met polling and donor requirements to qualify for the debate.
Scott recently wrapped up a trip to Iowa, visiting the Iowa State Fair and speaking to the Story County Republican Party. The Scott official said that after next week’s debate, the senator “will be in South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire campaigning across the states.”