As Republican incumbent Sen. Tim Scott seeks reelection in South Carolina, one of the super PACs backing his campaign, First Tuesday Group, has pulled its fall ads from television and digital just as the race for Scott’s seat enters its final lap.
The move raises questions about the effectiveness of spending on Scott’s behalf, and its implications for the Senator’s chances of defending his seat against his primary challenger, Jaime Harrison.
First Tuesday Group poured more than $2 million into the race, primarily through television ads touting Scott as the “conservative choice” for South Carolina voters. However, according to recent polls, any gains the PAC may have made through its ad buy have so far failed to resonate with voters.
Though Scott currently leads Harrison by an average of 8 points, he has yet to breach the 50 percent mark in any major poll.
The decision by the First Tuesday Group to shift its focus elsewhere in the waning weeks of the election implies that a last-minute campaign by the super PAC to swing the race in Scott’s favor is unlikely. However, it does not necessarily spell doom for the incumbent’s reelection bid.
Rather, it could be that Scott’s own strategy thus far – emphasizing his accomplishments in the Senate and leveraging support from the same powerful allies within his party – has simply been stronger than the impact of First Tuesday Group’s ad buys. As such, Scott may yet prevail without additional assistance from outside groups.
No matter the outcome, it appears clear that First Tuesday Group’s ad blitz has been a bust. Its pull-out serves as a reminder that, while money may be important, it only goes so far in swaying voters. As the race for South Carolina’s Senate seat crescendos, Scott will need to rely on his own accomplishments, alliances, and strategy if he hopes to hold onto his seat.