The main super PAC behind former President Donald Trump’s re-election efforts has outspent every other campaign organization on negative ads so far this cycle, with main rival Ron DeSantis taking the bulk of the attacks
The growing gap between Trump and the rest of the GOP field indicates the strategy is paying off, Make America Great Again Inc. argued to The Post.
MAGA Inc. unleashed an onslaught of negative ads targeting the Florida governor in March. In total, the Trump backers have dropped more than $23 million in negative ad spending against DeSantis and another $6 million against President Biden, according to data from Rob Pyers, research director for the California Target Book.
The ads against DeSantis, ranging from the governor’s record on Social Security and Medicare to claims about his “pudding fingers,” correlate to a serious dip in polling support for the candidate many once thought destined to overtake Trump as the GOP standard-bearer.
Trump has risen nearly 15% in the polls while DeSantis has slipped by more than 15% since March, according to polling averages complied by RealClearPolitics.
Trump’s polling rise also corresponds to the first of four indictments against the 77-year-old, which was secured March 30 by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.
In that case, Trump is accused of 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Trump also faces indictments related to retaining national security documents, attempting to overturn the 2020 election and trying to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.
Other candidate super PACs have also spent their own share of funds on negative ads, but have failed to move the needle enough to get within striking distance of the former president — opting to target each other instead.
Never Back Down, the main DeSantis-backing super PAC, has spent just over $350,000 against Trump — and $4.5 million on ads targeting 2024 rival Nikki Haley, according to Pyers’ data. Another pro-DeSantis super PAC, Fight Right Inc., has specifically targeted Haley with over $1.7 million in negative ads.
Haley’s super PAC, SFA Fund Inc., has targeted DeSantis with over $4.9 million worth of spending as the ad wars between the two expand.
In total spending, the DeSantis campaign and its backers have spent $50.8 million, Haley’s campaign and her backers have spent $39.1 million and MAGA Inc. and the Trump campaign have spent $38.3 million, according to data from AdImpact.
“While other groups have lit donor money on fire in their pointless competition for first loser, MAGA Inc. has effectively supported the re-election of President Trump, who is leading in every poll by historic margins,” spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt told The Post. “We will continue to be thoughtful stewards of the investments made into MAGA Inc. and accomplish our ultimate goal of winning back the White House next November.”