With less than two weeks before the Iowa Republican caucuses are held, GOP presidential candidates are pouring money into the state, looking to jump out to an early lead.
An analysis conducted by NBC News revealed that GOP candidates have spent $105 million thus far on TV ads in the state. The leader of that pack is Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations.
All of this spending is being done in Iowa even though Donald Trump is dominating polls, with more than 50% of support among likely GOP voters, RealClearPolitics said.
In 2023, a super PAC aligned with Haley, called the SFA Fund Inc., spent $25 million in Iowa. She was followed by Never Back Down, a super PAC aligned with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, which spent $17.6 million.
PAC MAGA Inc., the super PAC aligned with Trump, only spent $11.4 million on ads in Iowa.
NBC News reported that Haley’s SFA Fund is prepared to lead all candidate spending in Iowa leading up to the caucuses, with a planned spend of $3.3 million. That’s in addition to the $1.3 million TV ad spend the PAC laid out for the new year.
The media outlet further highlighted that Trump has sent more than $950 million in ads that will air on Iowa TVs in the next two weeks. The PAC Fight Right, which is also aligned with DeSantis, is next at $704 million.
While some of the GOP presidential candidates have focused their ads on why they’re the best choice among Republicans, Trump’s campaign has taken a different approach.
The latest ad his campaign featured in Iowa, for instance, touted Trump’s political record compared to his likely opponent in the general election, President Joe Biden, who the ad called “bumbling.”
DeSantis and Haley, meanwhile, have focused their multiple ads in the state on attacking each other. They are vying to finish in second place behind Trump, though each candidate hopes to pull off a stunner and capture the state.
RealClearPolitics reports that DeSantis is currently hanging onto second place, polling at 18.6%. Haley is in third, with 16.1% support.
Another GOP candidate, Vivek Ramaswamy, announced last month that he wouldn’t be spending any more money on TV ads in Iowa ahead of the caucuses. He said the spending in the state is “idiotic,” and that his campaign has other plans to get the word out.
His campaign promised previously to spend as much as $8 million in Iowa and then another $4 million in New Hampshire.
Tricia McLaughlin, who works as the communications director for Ramaswamy’s campaign, recently said that despite “$190 million in traditional advertising” on national advertising, “polls have barely changed.”
As she told the Daily Caller News Foundation recently:
“We spend our money to identify the Vivek voter and how we are spending that money to turn them out. Get ready for a major upset on January 15, and good luck to the political consultants who are reliant on traditional ad spending to line their pockets.”