By Kenneth Vogel (Politico) –
Marco Rubio had long planned an ambitious Iowa advertising assault in the weeks leading up to the caucuses, but his campaign has quietly scaled back its ad buys in the state by more than $860,000, according to a POLITICO analysis of advertising buys.
The change appears due partly to a switch from offense to defense, but it also comes at a time when the Florida senator is focusing his hopes for an early state victory in South Carolina, where his campaign is increasing its advertising buys, according to the analysis, compiled for POLITICO by The Tracking Firm.
Some of the decrease in Iowa ad spending likely stems from the campaign’s switch from 60-second biographical ads to shorter 30-second ads that are considered more effective as responses to attacks such as those Rubio is facing from his rivals for the GOP nomination and the super PACs supporting them. By some calculations, Rubio has been the target of $8.5 million in negative ads in Iowa — by far the most of any candidate in the field. The majority have come from a super PAC supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s floundering campaign, which early on identified Rubio as the challenger best positioned to coalesce the establishment Republican support Bush needed to gain traction.
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