Media Monitors has been tracking political ad buys in South Carolina leading into the next primary. The “first-in-the-South” primary gives a voice to Southern states in the presidential nomination process and South Carolina often helps to begin significantly narrowing down the field of candidates following contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The GOP primary is Saturday, Feb. 20 and the Democratic primary in the following Saturday, Feb. 27.
Marco Rubio’s Super PAC Conservative Solutions aired 836 ads. They ran 396 in Charleston, 220 in Columbia and 220 in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.
Coming in #2 was the Super PAC dedicated to Ted Cruz, Keep The Promise I, which ran 712 spots — 191 in Charleston, 139 in Columbia and 382 in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC. Ted Cruz For President (his campaign) aired 337 spots — 99 in Charleston, 104 in Columbia and 134 in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC. That brings his effective total to 1,049 spots, which would put him on top when combined, according to Media Monitors.
Hillary Clinton ran 575 spots so far with 241 in Charleston, 223 in Columbia and 111 in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.
Donald Trump was behind Ted Cruz by one spot, campaign to campaign comparison; Trump ran 336 spots — 102 in Charleston, 63 in Columbia and 171 in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.
Bernie Sanders ran 258 spots in South Carolina with 205 in Charleston, 38 in Columbia and only 15 in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.
Jeb Bush followed with 235 spots — 107 in Charleston, 20 in Columbia and 108 in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.
Ben Carson’s campaign aired 182 spots all in Columbia and the neurosurgeon got some help from his friends at Black America’s PAC Action Fund who ran 19 spots in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.
And finally, Willie Wilson, philanthropist, entrepreneur, recording artist and first-year politician, aired 152 spots — 2 in Charleston and 150 in Columbia, SC.