Two super PACs that support Republican Ted Cruz plan to spend a combined $3.1 million in Indiana to try to influence GOP voters in the state’s May 3 presidential primary.
The Trusted Leadership PAC said it will spend $1.6 million in the state, the vast majority of the money—about $1.3 million—on television ads, which started Friday.
Other funding will go to radio ads and field operations.
“Our internal polling shows an appetite among Hoosiers for a conservative that has the temperament, judgment and knowledge of policy and law to be president,” said Kellyanne Conway, the political action committee’s director of research and media outreach, in a written statement. “Sen. Cruz is the only candidate that fits those qualifications.”
And Club for Growth Action, a political arm of the conservative Club for Growth, began airing ads in Indiana on Friday as well. That group said it plans to spend about $1.5 million on ad buys throughout the state.
“Indiana is facing a unique moment in history: the opportunity to stop Donald Trump,” said Club for Growth Action President David McIntosh, a former Indiana congressman.
“After success with our ads in Wisconsin, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Utah, CFG Action is about to blanket the Hoosier State with a simple message: To stop Trump, vote Cruz,” McIntosh said in a statement. “There is now no state more important than Indiana for electing Cruz and keeping Trump from reaching 1,237.”
Trusted Leadership is a merger of several other pro-Cruz PACs, all that in some way share the name Keep the Promise.
The PAC has not only attacked Republican frontrunner Donald Trump but also Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has remained in the GOP race even though he has no chance of winning a majority of delegates. Kasich is hoping for a brokered convention in which no candidate wins on the first ballot, opening up the contest to other options.
But Conway said in a statement that Kasich “cannot beat Hillary Clinton because he is too much like her on core issues—like Obamacare.”
“Voters deserve to know this,” she said. “The way Kasich embraced and expanded Obamacare has cost Ohioans $7 billion.”
Under Kasich, Ohio used the Affordable Care Act to expand it Medicaid program, something the Republican governor has said made real improvements in people’s lives.
In other states, including Wisconsin, Trusted Leadership has run ads attacking Kasich as a “liberal governor.”
According to OpenSecrets.org, which tracks political spending, Trusted Leadership has spent nearly $2.5 million on the presidential race so far this year. Club for Growth Action has spent more than $9 million.
A new public poll out Friday from WTHR/Howey Politics Indiana shows potentially tight Republican and Democratic contests in Indiana, with Trump and Clinton holding slight leads in their respective races.
So far, the candidates and PACs have spent more than $856,000 on TV ads in the Indianapolis media market, according to an IBJ analysis of Federal Communications Commission filings. That includes about $73,000 in ads purchased by Trusted Leadership and nearly $250,000 purchased by Club for Growth Action, although that only covers Central Indiana. It’s likely not all the spending has been reported.