Tim Scott’s Super PAC pulls the plug on fall ads | ET REALITY


The major super PAC supporting Sen. Tim Scott’s presidential campaign abruptly announced to donors in a memo that it would cancel millions of dollars in television ads it had reserved for this fall, writing that Donald J. Trump’s strength was so entrenched among Republican voters find that additional advertising currently makes little difference.

“We are not going to waste our money when the electorate is not focused or ready for an alternative to Trump,” wrote Rob Collins, a Republican strategist who is co-chairman of the super PAC, in the blunt memo to donors that circulated Monday. “We have done the investigation. We have studied focus groups. We’ve been following Tim along the way. “This electorate is locked in and the money spent on the media is not going to change their minds until we get much closer to the vote.”

The New York Times obtained a copy of the memo.

The super PAC, called Trust in Mission PAC, or TIMPAC, has been one of the biggest advertisers in the race, spending roughly $5 million in Iowa alone this year. However, Scott’s poll numbers have barely changed and Trump remains far ahead.

In addition to the super PAC, Mr. Scott’s campaign had also spent aggressively on television advertising.

It’s unclear exactly how much the super PAC is paying, although it could be $15 million or more. The group, according to AdImpact data, has approximately $10 million reserved in just the next six weeks.

“We are doing what would be obvious in the business world but will baffle politicians,” Collins wrote in the memo.

The super PAC is likely to begin paying for some of Mr. Scott’s events as part of a move that was described as a transfer of resources elsewhere.

The decision to cancel ads and begin paying for some of Scott’s events comes a day after Scott revealed the deteriorating state of his campaign finances, which showed rising expenses and declining revenue.

Scott had a healthy $13.3 million in cash, including $11.6 million that can be used for the primary, but raised just $4.6 million in the third quarter, down from $5.9 million. dollars from the previous quarter. In the most recent period, Scott raised just a fraction of what former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida raised, and about a tenth of what Trump raised.

He was even surpassed by Vivek Ramaswamy, who raised $7.4 million in the third quarter, about a third of which came from donors who gave less than $200.

Mr. Scott’s campaign has been spending freely. When Scott entered the race in May, he brought with him $22 million left over from his last Senate re-election, and he has been steadily burning through that reserve. In July alone, the campaign spent $5.4 million. In contrast, Haley’s campaign spent $3.5 million in the entire third quarter.

Mr. Scott’s super PAC had begun July with just $15 million in cash on hand, but soon secured $40 million in television and digital bookings.

That gap raised questions about how the super PAC had raised so much money in such a short time. At the center of those questions is Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, who had previously been one of Scott’s biggest benefactors but had not yet been among the donors who had given to the super PAC in the first half of the year. The canceled ads are likely to raise more questions about Ellison’s financial role.

The super PAC said it would continue spending on door-knocking programs, raising money online for Scott and holding events. The group stated that it was not going to give up the campaign completely. Collins argued that Scott was still “the best choice” for Iowa voters and that for other campaigns and super PACs to fill the gap, “the money will just be wasted.” He wrote in the memo that two-thirds of Iowa caucus attendees will decide in the final six weeks before the Jan. 15, 2024 caucus, not in the next six weeks.

Regardless of the reason, in political circles the decision will be seen as an abandonment by Mr. Scott.

“Some will question our theory of elections,” Collins wrote, “but we would ask these critics to present any evidence showing that any candidate, right now, at any level of spending, is making progress.”

Matt Gorman, a spokesman for Scott, said in a statement that Scott’s campaign remained “built for the long haul, fueled by the largest amount of cash available for the primary and the greatest preference for the candidate of anyone in the field.”

He added: “On issues ranging from foreign policy to abortion, he has been the clearest and loudest voice, leading while others have followed.”

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