Yesterday Mark Jacobs launched his first TV ad for his newly official U.S. Senate campaign. He is the first candidate to do so in the race for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat. Politico reported that Jacobs purchased network TV time in the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Sioux City markets, as well as, cable TV time in Davenport, Omaha, Ottumwa and Rochester. The ad which is sixty seconds long will air until December 23rd. They will then run a 30-second version of the same ad on December 27-January 4th. The campaign plans to spend $137,000 which is more money raised by Sam Clovis, David Young and Matt Whitaker between August and October. Joni Ernst has raised $252,000, but she still does not yet have the resources for an ad buy like that.
Therein lies Jacobs’ advantage in a race full of candidates, on the Republican side, with low name recognition. Jacobs can self-fund his campaign in order to purchase radio and TV ads – he’s able to introduce himself to Iowa’s Republicans early in his campaign. It isn’t impossible to overcome, but this is going to be a challenge for the rest of the field.