A super PAC supporting Sen. Tim Scott’s presidential campaign said Tuesday it was setting aside $40 million in television and digital advertising from the fall through January, the largest sum set aside yet for any presidential candidate and a blitz of ads that could reshape the 2024 Republican field.
The group, called Trust in the Mission PAC, or TIM PAC, said the ad buy would cover Scott’s home state of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the first three states to vote in 2024, as well as national cable channels beginning in September.
To put the $40 million figure into 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 hype blitz, which follows a previously announced $7.25 million purchase, will provide a significant boost for Mr. Scott. In the polls, Mr. Scott has yet to break out of the group of Republican candidates trailing those two favorites.
But it has begun to attract more and more attention from the DeSantis campaign. In a memo to donors this month, DeSantis’s team said they expected Scott to receive “appropriate scrutiny in the coming weeks.”
The timing of the ad booking, days after the super PAC said it only had $15 million in cash available at the end of June, suggests a major donor likely chipped in a large sum in recent days. The timing will allow the identity of the donor to remain unrevealed until early 2024.
For years, one of Scott’s biggest benefactors has been Larry Ellison, the billionaire co-founder of Oracle. Ellison had already put $35 million into a different Scott-aligned super PAC, the Opportunity Matters Fund, between 2020 and 2022. A spokeswoman for Ellison did not respond to a request for comment about contributions on Scott’s behalf that he may have made this year.
Ellison attended Mr. Scott’s presidential inaugural event in May and was recognized by the senator onstage. “I thank Almighty God that he continues to provide me with really great mentors,” Mr. Scott said. “One of my mentors, Larry Ellison, is with us today and I’m so grateful to have so many different mentors in the house.”
Rob Collins, a Republican strategist who is co-chairman of the Trust in the Mission PAC, said Mr. Scott’s personal story—”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 greatest threat to Joe Biden and the far left because Tim’s life story and accomplishments undermine decades of Democratic lies about America,” Collins said in a statement.
Advance ad buying will make Mr. Scott’s super PAC the first of the 2024 campaign to reserve TV time for the fall and winter, securing somewhat lower ad rates that are likely to increase as more and more campaigns air. Super PACs pay more than Candidates, but the later they book, the higher the premium.
“As prices soar in the coming weeks, we will have a stable plan that will allow us to communicate our message efficiently, run a comprehensive 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 nearly 100 pollsters, most of whom are paid.
The pro-DeSantis super PAC, Never Back Down, reported that it raised $130 million in the first half of 2023 and spent nearly $15 million so far on TV ads. The group has outlined plans to hire 2,600 field staff who will focus on knocking on doors in early states.