Bush, lagging in polls, spending big on ads

Jeb Bush’s backers are running ads in key early voting states this week, as he continues to lag in polls.
Jeb Bush’s backers are running ads in key early voting states this week, as he continues to lag in polls. AP

The presidential campaign ad wars are in full swing, particularly for Jeb Bush supporters, while Bush remains mired in single digits in most polls.

New data from NBC ad-tracking partner SMG Delta showed that this week, Right to Rise, the SuperPAC supporting Jeb Bush, is spending $1.9 million in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Each will host a February nominating contest.

The data, reported by NBC’s political unit’s “First Read,” found no one close this week. Next was the Conservative Solutions Project, which backs Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at $700,000 in the three states.

Bush, the former Florida governor, is currently in fifth place, at 8.4 percent, in the RealClearPolitics.com average of national Republican presidential preference polls from September 17 to October 4. He runs sixth in Iowa and fourth in New Hampshire.

The NBC analysis noted that “nearly $2 million is A LOT of money to be spending in a single week on TV ads, especially when you consider how far away we are from the first February contests.” By then, that sum is probably the amount candidates or supporters will spend weekly in each of the key states.

They add one qualifier: “Because outside groups have to usually pay higher rates for TV ads than actual campaigns, Right to Rise’s $1.9 million doesn’t go as far as the same amount of money would if the campaign itself were spending it.”

Among Democrats, for instance, Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, is spending $490,000, whic hmay be close to the Bush effort.

Overall, here’s the NBC totals so far for top spenders:

Team Bush: $7.3 million ($6.9 million from Right to Rise, $440,000 from campaign)

Team Kasich: $5.4 million (all in New Hampshire)

Team Rubio: $4.7 million (all from the Conservative Solutions Project 501c4)

Team Clinton: $4.6 million (all from campaign)

Team Christie: $3.3 million (all in New Hampshire -- $2.9 million from Super PAC, $400,000 from campaign)

Team Jindal: $2.3 million (all in Iowa)

David Lightman: 202-383-6101, @lightmandavid

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