The midterms might seem like they’re a long way away, but Tim Scott, the South Carolina Representative, is feeling the heat. A super PAC By the People that was backing his re-election bid has been forced to pull their fall ad campaign due to lack of traction and support from the electorate.
The PAC was founded by donors from Texas and Virginia and had pledged its analytics-driven approach to helping the incumbent Scott to pick up additional support among the larger base. The strategy included a focus on digital, television, and radio campaigns to reach more people with messaging and it was estimated that the PAC had spent over $1 million on the effort.
Unfortunately for the PAC and Scott, the campaign was not able to yield desired results and the decision was made to pull the plug on the entire operation. It’s unknown yet whether Scott will be able to pick up the momentum necessary to carry him through the midterms but until then, the PAC has decided it’s better to cut its losses.
The failed campaign is indicative of the fraught environment of Congressional midterms, where races become more competitive and outside forces come in play. While having a super PAC on your side can temper the effects of extra spending, a lack of support from the electorate remains an insurmountable obstacle. In such instances, emotional appeals and personality-driven campaigns can be key but even those can be derailed if a candidate’s message falls flat.
Going forward, the lesson from this experience is to be vigilant and mindful of the ever-shifting landscape of an election campaign. With no guarantees of success, hard work, commitment, and often a sprinkle of luck are needed for success in these challenging races.