Trump campaign takes a brief pause on its TV advertising

Trump has outspent Biden on ads, but the former VP is stepping up his game

With 96 days to go until November’s general election, President Trump’s re-election team is taking a brief pause in running TV ads in order to fine-tune the campaign’s strategy.

The Trump campaign has vastly outspent the campaign of Democratic challenger Joe Biden to run TV and digital commercials since the start of the general election campaign in April.

BIDEN CAMPAIGN STEPS UP AD BUYS IN KEY BATTLEGROUNDS

But Advertising Analytics, a leading ad tracking firm, tweeted on Wednesday that “With no TV schedules booked today, @realDonaldTrump is off air for the time being. #Election2020 #PresidentialElection.”

The move came as Biden – the former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee – was running spots this week in six key battleground states: Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, and Wisconsin. And on Thursday the Biden campaign touted that they were going up with ads in Ohio, a quadrennial swing state that Trump won by 8 points four years ago but where recent polls show a close contest for the state’s 18 electoral votes.

The former vice president’s campaign is stepping up its game – spending roughly $15 million last week and $14.5 million this week to run TV, digital and radio commercials in the key battlegrounds. That’s a dramatic increase compared to what they had been spending prior to mid-July.

Pointing to the pause in Trump campaign ads, Advertising Analytics vice president John Link highlighted that “historically it is a bit of an anomaly. We haven’t really seen a full breaking like this.”

But Link also noted that it may just be for a day or two and noted that the Trump campaign already has $146.5 million pre-booked to run commercials from Labor Day through Election Day.

The Trump campaign told Fox News “with the leadership change in the campaign, there’s understandably a review and fine-tuning of the campaign’s strategy. We’ll be back on the air shortly, even more forcefully exposing Joe Biden as a puppet of the radical left-wing.”

CHANGE AT THE TOP: STEPIEN TAKES OVER AS TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER

That change in leadership came earlier this month, when veteran campaign operative Bill Stepien replaced Brad Parscale as Trump’s campaign manager.

In the past 24 hours, a number of outlets have spotlighted the Trump campaign going dark on the airwaves in Michigan, where the latest public opinion polls show Biden holding an upper single-digit lead over the president.

Biden campaign deputy press secretary Matt Hill tweeted on Thursday that “As Donald Trump is retreating on the airwaves in key states like Michigan, @JoeBiden is expanding his paid media offensive into OHIO and highlighting his #BuildBackBetter agenda in new ads.”

But Advertising Analytics Link points out that the Trump campaign’s committed to spending $11.4 million to run ads in the state in the autumn. He says that would roughly be around 8 percent of the campaign’s total ad spending, up from the approximate 3 percent of their total ad spending they’ve shelled out to date to run commercials in Michigan.

While the president’s campaign takes what may be a very short break in running spots in the key battlegrounds, the leading pro-Trump super PAC America First is spending nearly $23 million to run commercials through the end of August in Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.