BUT TO WHAT END?
Over the next eleven days, South Carolina will be blanketed with all sorts of political propaganda as the “Republican” presidential circus comes to the Palmetto State. The 2016 “First in the South” primary is officially upon us … perhaps for the last time (assuming U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and others get their way).
But while attention has been focused on early-voting Iowa and New Hampshire up to this point, several candidates (and the political action committees supporting their ambitions) have been dropping mad cash on the South Carolina airwaves.
According to reporter Mark Murray of NBC News – using data provided by SMG Delta – the Right to Rise PAC supporting former Florida governor Jeb Bush has already spent a whopping $10.3 million on South Carolina advertising. Meanwhile Rubio (and groups supporting his candidacy) have dropped $9.4 million.
What has this massive investment managed to produce?
Well, according to the latest aggregate polling data from RealClearPolitics, Bush is currently polling at ten percent in South Carolina – compared to 12.7 percent for Rubio.
Meanwhile U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas – whose supporters have spent $5.7 million in the Palmetto State – is getting a far better return on investment, registering 19.7 percent support in the polls. And frontrunner Donald Trump – who has spent $1 million in South Carolina – leads the field with 36 percent support.
In other words, the top two establishment candidates have spent nearly $20 million to earn the support of roughly one quarter of the “First in the South” GOP electorate, whereas the two anti-establishment candidates have earned nearly 56 percent support on the strength of less than $7 million in spending.
It would be … except Bush and Rubio have been engaged in a fierce “Republican” undercard battle, meaning much of their spending (especially Right to Rise spending) has been devoted on attacking their establishment rival.
Nationally, Bush and the Right to Rise PAC have spent a whopping $76.7 million, while Rubio and his various supporting organizations have spent $48 million. The runaway winner of that battle? Rubio – who is currently polling at 17.8 percent nationally compared to Bush, who is at 4.3 percent.