The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have been warned about a coming $20 million ad campaign in swing states. Will they be prepared?
A series of ads painting him as an unserious, unready, and unscrupulous businessman who also happens to disparage women and minorities is to start airing June 8, the day after the final primaries in which Trump is likely to clinch the Republican presidential nomination.
“That’s a good day to start,” said Justin Barasky with Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing Democrat Hillary Clinton. “We’re not going to the make the same mistake Republicans did in waiting too long [to go on the offensive].”
For five full weeks, in a lull between the primary season and the GOP convention, these messages may have the airwaves to themselves in seven swing states, with the notoriously tight-fisted Trump loath to spend tens of millions of his own money to counter the attack and the Republican Party unable to defend him until he officially becomes the nominee.
If Republicans find this strategy familiar, they should. It’s exactly what Priorities did to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney in those months after he had secured the nomination, following a long and expensive primary battle—but before he was officially nominated and allowed to use millions in general-election money he had already collected.
Or will the Trump campaign and RNC be caught flat-footed, not have any television commercials ready to go, and concede the airwaves to Democrat-aligned SuperPACS in June?
Matching a $20 million advertising campaign in seven states should be a piece of cake for a man worth $10 billion… unless, of course, Trump is actually cash-poor and he has most of his wealth tied up in illiquid assets like real estate. But what are the odds of that, right?