Iowa football fans will be some of the first to experience an initial advertising blitz for Jeb Bush, as a pro-Bush super PAC placed a seven-figure airtime buy for the last quarter of 2015.
Right to Rise USA is spending $1.66 million for TV time in Iowa – which holds the nation’s first presidential caucuses — set to run from Sept. 15 to Dec. 28. It will also be the first major advertising campaign supporting a specific candidate in the 2016 race. Right to Rise raised $103 million in the first half of the year.
Bloomberg Politics reports the networks scheduled for the ads include ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox News, Hallmark, HGTV, History, TBS and USA. Also on the ad schedule are spots during the Iowa football games on the Big Ten Network between September and November.
Polling analyst Ken Goldstein, a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, calls the ad buy strategy “like a tell in poker.”
“If you’re looking for white males in Iowa,” Goldstein told Bloomberg, “where would you go looking for them in the fall? College football.”
Federal Communication Commission documents also show Right to Rise investigated advertising rates in more than a dozen media markets, including those in early primary states like Florida, Ohio and Missouri.
According to the Associated Press, the super PAC plans on spending $10 million for television time in first-in-the-nation primary states New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina.
Right to Rise, which has so far spent nearly $22 million on the race, invested only about $150,000 on digital ads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The money was primarily for a spot pushing Bush as a more trustworthy alternative to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.