After all the hand wringing, posturing, and managing of the expectations game, it seems clear that [mc_name name='Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)' chamber='senate' mcid='C001098' ] will enter 2016 with the most financially healthy operation of any of the candidates, by far. Ben Carson has been raising a ton of money, but has had an astronomical burn rate and the news from yesterday indicates a campaign that is in disarray at every stage of the operation. Jeb's alleged financial juggernaut has sputtered, leading to massive layoffs and pay cuts for his campaign officials. Rubio and Christie have posted relatively pedestrian fundraising numbers to begin with, and Trump isn't really raising enough money to get his campaign out of debt (to himself).
Cruz is the only candidate whose campaign and affiliated Super PACs look to have a sizeable and healthy war chest heading into the last month of the campaign before Iowa. And it looks like the Cruz Super PACs, at least, are ready to start flexing their muscle with an all-or-nothing Iowa push:
Keep the Promise I, a super PAC backing [mc_name name='Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)' chamber='senate' mcid='C001098' ], is going up on television in Iowa with a six-figure ad buy next week, part of a broader $1 million ad buy launched in coordination with other affiliated pro-Cruz super PACs.
The TV portion of the ad buy, which will run for two weeks, begins on Jan. 4 and costs at least $700,000, records show and the president of Keep the Promise I, Kellyanne Conway, confirmed.
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A spokeswoman for the group confirmed the dates that the spot will run, but would not share details about the content of the advertisement.
The organization is one of a cluster of well-funded super PACs backing Cruz, all of which are ramping up activity on the airwaves now as Cruz surges into first place in Iowa and second in national polls.
In addition to the $700,000 the Super PAC plans to spend in Iowa, they will also spend over $300,000 on radio and digital ads in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, according to CNN.
At the end of the day, it might seem somewhat surprising, but [mc_name name='Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)' chamber='senate' mcid='C001098' ] is actually running the most conventional campaign of any of the candidates in the field. While others like [mc_name name='Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)' chamber='senate' mcid='R000595' ] are banking on things working differently this time, Cruz is clearly hoping to score a knockout in the first four contests in the race - at the very least a knockout of all candidates not named Donald Trump. If he can win three of those four contests, he might really actually pull that off.
Cruz's bet, which seems to be a sound one, is that when the race comes down to him vs. Donald Trump, the actual voting Republicans - including establishment types - would sooner back him than the walking general election disaster that is Trump.
I've said throughout this campaign that money means less than it ever has in a Presidential primary campaign, and that is still largely true; but having lots of it certainly doesn't hurt. [mc_name name='Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)' chamber='senate' mcid='C001098' ] is now going to put his massive war chest to use, which means we'll get to see for the first time how much television/radio advertising really moves the dial in the 2016 season.