A super PAC backing Sen. Tim Scott’s presidential campaign said Tuesday it is setting aside $40 million in TV and digital advertising from the fall through January, the largest sum ever set aside for any presidential candidate and a flurry of ads that could transform the 2024 Republican. field
The group, called the Trust in the Mission PAC, or TIM PAC, said the ad buy would cover Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Mr. Scott’s home state — the first three states to vote in 2024 — as well as national cable. channels since September.
To put the $40 million in perspective, that’s more money than the super PACs supporting Donald J. Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have spent so far — combined — on television in the first six months of 2023.
The upcoming advertising blitz, which follows a previously announced $7.25 million purchase, will provide a significant boost for Mr. Scott. In polling, Mr. Scott has not yet emerged from the group of Republican candidates behind those two predecessors.
But he increasingly began to attract the attention of the DeSantis campaign. In a memo to donors this month, the DeSantis team said it expects Mr. Scott to receive “appropriate vetting in the coming weeks.”
The timing of the ad booking — days after the super PAC said it had just $15 million in cash at the end of June — suggests a major donor most likely contributed a huge sum in recent days. The timing will allow the identity of the donor to remain unknown until early 2024.
For years, one of Mr. Scott’s biggest benefactors was Larry Ellison, the billionaire co-founder of Oracle. Mr. Ellison has already put $35 million into a different super PAC lined up by Scott, the Opportunity Matters Fund, between 2020 and 2022. A spokesman for Mr. Ellison did not respond to a request for comment about any pro-Scott contributions he may have made. have done this year.
Mr Ellison attended Mr Scott’s presidential inauguration in May and received a shout-out from the senator on stage. “I thank God Almighty that he continues to provide me with really great mentors,” said Mr. Scott. “One of my mentors, Larry Ellison, is with us today, and I’m very grateful to have so many different mentors in the house.”
Rob Collins, a Republican strategist who is the co-chairman of Trust in the Mission PAC, said that Mr. Scott’s personal history — “Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime,” Mr. Scott stated in his congressional 2020 speech – would resonate with Republican primary voters.
“Tim is the biggest threat to Joe Biden and the far left because Tim’s life story and accomplishments undermine decades of Democratic lies about America,” Mr. Collins said in a statement.
The early ad buy will make Mr. Scott’s super PAC the first of the 2024 campaign to book television time in the fall and winter, which will lock in somewhat lower ad rates that are likely to rise as more and more campaigns go on the airwaves. Super PACs pay more than candidates but the later they book the steeper the premium.
“While prices will rise in the coming weeks, we will have a stable plan that will allow us to effectively communicate our message, run a well-rounded campaign and better manage our money,” Mr Collins said.
The super PAC also announced that Mr. Scott has begun a door-to-door campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, an operation that includes a dozen staffers and nearly 100 canvassers, most of whom are paid.
The pro-DeSantis super PAC, Never Back Down, reported raising $130 million in the first half of 2023 and has spent nearly $15 million so far on television ads. The group has outlined plans to hire 2,600 field staff who will focus on door-knocking across the early states.