Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham has struggled in the polls, failing to meet the threshold to participate in the last debate. But a pro-Graham super PAC isn’t giving up, making its second-biggest ad buy to date.
According to independent expenditure disclosures spotted on Sunlight’s Real-Time Influence Explorer, the Security Is Strength super PAC spent $1,043,496 on Nov. 23 and 25 on cable and mobile advertising. The group paid $1 million to Wilson Grand Communications for cable advertising placement; the rest went to production for cable ads and mobile ads. The last time the PAC spent this much on a single ad buy was August, to MH Media LLC.
The PAC’s YouTube page shows two ads uploaded a couple days after this expenditure, on Nov. 27. One ad is titled “Support Our Country,” and the other, “Doorstep,” features Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., praising Graham’s plan to defeat ISIS.
While Graham’s super PAC is spending big to promote his candidacy, one of Ted Cruz’s many super PACs made a much smaller expenditure on ads opposing Graham, as well as Marco Rubio. On Dec. 1, Courageous Conservatives PAC spent $2,551 on social media ads opposing Marco Rubio and $254 opposing Graham. This follows a $978 expenditure on anti-Graham ads in November. Cruz is polling at an average of 13 percent to Graham’s 0.5 percent, according to RealClearPolitics, so it’s interesting that his PAC is spending money, even a comparatively tiny amount, to oppose him.
Courageous Conservatives has only been active since September, making it the newest addition to Ted Cruz’s list of super PACs — this takes him up to seven.
The group made waves last month when it attacked Rubio for his pro-“amnesty” positions. In fact, a consultant for Courageous Conservatives justified the provocative ads by describing the other Cruz super PACs’ ads as “boring.” Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to trace what the content of social media ad buys actually are, so we’ve no way of assessing whether Courageous Conservatives’ ads opposing Graham pass the “not boring” test or not.