DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s presidential campaign announced Monday that the Republican was shifting staff and money from New Hampshire to Iowa in an effort to boost his standing in the leadoff caucus state with less than three months until the first votes of the 2024 election are cast.
Scott planned to open a new state headquarters in suburban Des Moines and double his Iowa staff with the moves, though campaign aides did not say how many people would be moving from New Hampshire.
“Tim Scott is all in on Iowa,” Scott’s campaign manager Jennifer DeCasper said in an emailed statement.
Scott is routinely named by likely caucus participants as being among a handful of candidates under consideration. However, late-summer polls showed him receiving support in the single digits, far behind the Iowa front-runner, former President Donald Trump.
Scott’s campaign team had said they had hoped the senator’s upbeat style and comfort quoting scripture while discussing his Christian faith would combine with the heavy series of campaign ads built around his biography of poverty in the deep South to make him a likely choice for the Iowa GOP’s influential evangelical Christian bloc.
However, some activists have said Scott turned in an unremarkable performance during the first Republican presidential debate in August, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has landed the support of more evangelical pastors and faith leaders.
Scott has already held more than 40 campaign events in Iowa, and blanketed the airwaves since entering the race in May.
Scott’s campaign and a super PAC that supports his candidacy have spent a combined $13.4 million on advertising in Iowa this year, according to figures from the tracking firm AdImpact. The total is more than for any other combined presidential campaign and supporting super PAC.
Scott’s campaign has purchased more television and digital ads in the state than any other candidate through their individual campaign. The campaign has $1.6 million more reserved for TV advertising this fall.
The super PAC, Trust in the Mission, has booked $7.5 million in ads through Jan. 15, the date of the caucuses, according to AdImpact.
Never Back Down, the super PAC supporting DeSantis, has spent the most on advertising of any entity in Iowa.