Super PAC Backing Tim Scott Plans $40 Million Ad Campaign


The ads will give Senator Tim Scott a significant boost as he draws attention from rival campaigns in the Republican presidential race.

A super PAC supporting Senator Tim Scott’s presidential campaign said on Tuesday that it was reserving $40 million in television and digital advertising from the fall through January, the largest sum booked so far for any presidential candidate and a blitz of ads that could reshape 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 that will vote in 2024 — as well as national cable channels starting in September.

To put the $40 million figure in perspective, that is more money than the super PACs supporting Donald J. Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida have spent so far — combined — on television in the first six months of 2023.

The coming ad blitz, which follows a previously announced $7.25 million buy, will provide a significant boost for Mr. Scott. In polling, Mr. Scott has not yet broken out of the pack of Republican candidates trailing those two front-runners.

But he has increasingly begun to attract the attention of the DeSantis campaign. In a memo to donors this month, the DeSantis team said it expected Mr. Scott to receive “appropriate scrutiny in the weeks ahead.”

The timing of the ad reservation — days after the super PAC said it had only $15 million in cash on hand at the end of June — suggests a major donor most likely contributed a huge sum in recent days. The timing will allow the donor’s identity to remain undisclosed until early 2024.

For years, one of Mr. Scott’s biggest benefactors has been Larry Ellison, the billionaire co-founder of Oracle. Mr. Ellison had already put $35 million into a different Scott-aligned super PAC, the Opportunity Matters Fund, between 2020 and 2022. A spokeswoman for Mr. Ellison did not respond to a request for comment on any pro-Scott contributions he may have made this year.

Mr. Ellison attended Mr. Scott’s presidential kickoff event in May and received a shout-out from the senator onstage. “I thank God Almighty that he continues to provide me with really cool mentors,” Mr. Scott said. “One of my mentors, Larry Ellison, is with us today, and I am so thankful to have so many different mentors in the house.”

Rob Collins, a Republican strategist who is the co-chair 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 declared in his 2020 convention 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 Democrat 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 reserve television time into the fall and winter, which will lock in somewhat lower advertising 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.

“As prices skyrocket in the coming weeks, we will have a stable plan that will allow us to efficiently communicate our message, conduct a well-rounded campaign and better manage our cash,” Mr. Collins said.

The super PAC also announced that Mr. Scott had begun a door-knocking campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, an operation that includes a dozen staff members and almost 100 canvassers, a majority of whom are paid.

The pro-DeSantis super PAC, Never Back Down, has reported raising $130 million in the first half of 2023 and spent nearly $15 million so far on television ads. The group has outlined plans to hire 2,600 field staff members who will focus on door-knocking across the early states.


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