Pro-Bush group ‘postpones’ TV ads for Michigan
Washington — The super political action committee Right to Rise, which backs the GOP presidential ambitions of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has pulled television ads initially intended to run in Michigan and other states this month to boost its ad presence in South Carolina.
Ads were scheduled to begin running Tuesday, mainly in Detroit and Grand Rapids-area markets, but none have aired yet in Michigan. Instead, Right to Rise is focusing its attention on the Palmetto State heading into its Feb. 20 primary.
“We are postponing our start date for March 1 state buys, which we can afford to do since no other viable Republican has reserved as much as we have so far in states like Michigan,” said Paul Lindsay, a spokesman for Right to Rise.
The other states in which Right to Rise is temporarily delaying ad purchases are Virginia, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Idaho.
Lindsay said Right to Rise still intends to spend on advertising in those states but in the meantime, added to its South Carolina advertising buy by $1.7 million total this week, including $700,000 added Tuesday and another $1 million added Wednesday, Lindsay said.
Right to Rise has been the top advertising spender of the 2016 presidential race, nearing $50 million in spending. Ad purchases in Michigan included stations such as WJBK and WKBD in Detroit and WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.
With the Republican presidential field still muddled, Bush and his allies are hoping to fight it out in South Carolina with Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for third place, or perhaps to knock Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz down a notch, said David Dulio, who chairs the political science department at Oakland University.
In South Carolina, Bush is polling around 9 percent of likely Republican voters, behind real estate developer Donald Trump, Cruz and Rubio, according to an average of recent polls by RealClear Politics.
“They’ve got the most money, though they’ve been burning through it,” Dulio said of Right to Rise. “My guess is this is less about saving money and more about trying to beat out Rubio in that establishment lane in South Carolina.”