Dec 26, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Ramaswamy campaign ceases TV ads ahead of Iowa, New Hampshire contests

Vivek Ramaswamy during the Republican presidential primary debate on Dec. 6. Photo: Micah Green/Bloomberg via Getty Images

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy's campaign confirmed Tuesday that it has ceased TV ad spending ahead of next month's Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

Why it matters: Traditional broadcast TV ads make up a majority of political advertising spending in the U.S. and are an essential component of political campaigns.

  • The unusual decision to stop spending money on TV ads comes less than a month before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary offer a snapshot of the state of the presidential race, which still boasts a crowded slate of candidates.
  • NBC News first reported that the Ramaswamy campaign had stopped buying TV ads and doesn't have any currently booked.

State of play: Ramaswamy's campaign will continue spending on other forms of advertising, with the new strategy being the result of "following the data," Ramaswamy's spokesperson, Tricia McLaughlin, told Axios.

  • "We are focused on bringing out the voters we've identified — best way to reach them is using addressable advertising, mail, text, live calls and doors to communicate with our voters on Vivek's vision for America, making their plan to caucus and turning them out," McLaughlin said.
  • McLaughlin acknowledged that "this isn't what most campaigns look like" but said the strategy would enable the campaign to be "nimble and hyper-targeted in our ad spending."

The big picture: The U.S. political ad market is projected to reach roughly $16 billion in 2024.

  • In November, Ramaswamy launched a massive advertising campaign focused on the two states. The push is expected to total up to $8 million in Iowa and $4 million in New Hampshire, per Politico.
  • Since then, the campaign has spent $2.2 million on TV, digital and radio ads, NBC News reported, citing figures from AdImpact.
  • In the first full week of December, Ramaswamy's campaign spent more than $200,000 on TV ads and last week it spent $6,000 on ads, all of which went to TV, NBC News reported Tuesday, citing AdImpact.

Zoom out: Earlier this year, Ramaswamy predicted a "surprise result" in the Iowa caucuses, saying that he and his campaign could land, if not an outright victory, "something close to it."

  • Polls show that Trump continues to lead the GOP race in Iowa by a large margin.
  • GOP candidates ramped up their campaign events in both Iowa and New Hampshire this month ahead of January's contests, per CNN.
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