Pro-Romney PAC launches 8-State, $1.5 million ad buy

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty
This article originally appeared on RealClearPolitics.

Restore Our Future -- the well-financed super PAC that has played a key role in Mitt Romney's early-state successes -- has launched a television and radio advertising blitz in eight upcoming primary states to the tune of over $1.5 million, according to a source with the group.

The latest Restore Our Future ad buy will run through Monday, after which it is likely to be increased.

About half of the advertising dollars are designated for broadcast and cable TV ads in the Feb. 28 primary states of Michigan ($640,000) and Arizona ($121,000).

The group is spending nearly $600,000 on the March 6 Super Tuesday states of Ohio ($252,000), Tennessee ($184,000), Oklahoma ($40,000) and Georgia ($118,000).

Restore Our Future is not advertising in Super Tuesday states considered safe bets for Romney, including his home turf of Massachusetts; Vermont, where he figures to take advantage of his New England ties; and Virginia, where Romney and Ron Paul are the only Republican candidates on the ballot.

The group is also declining for the time being to advertise in Washington state (which holds caucuses March 3) and in Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota -- the three Super Tuesday caucus states where turnout is likely to be small and where Rick Santorum could do particularly well.

In an implicit acknowledgment that the battle for the Republican nomination is likely to go beyond Super Tuesday, Restore Our Future has also purchased broadcast TV spots this week in two Southern states that will hold their primaries on March 13: Alabama ($84,000) and Mississippi ($68,000).

For its part, the Romney campaign is increasingly training its fire on Santorum, who pulled off a trio of victories last week before Romney rebounded Saturday with a victory in the Maine caucuses.

Santorum has surged into the lead nationally over Romney in the latest RealClearPolitics polling average and appears to be in a strong position in several upcoming voting states, including Michigan -- where Romney was born and raised and his father was a popular governor.

But Restore Our Future's latest ad purchases in Alabama and Mississippi seems to indicate that the group is not counting out another surge from Gingrich, who has been polling well in the South, has already won the South Carolina primary, and hails from neighboring Georgia.

A Restore Our Future spokesperson declined to reveal the content of the latest round of ads.

Before the Iowa caucuses, the super PAC launched multimillion-dollar attacks against Rick Perry and Gingrich, and both negative ad campaigns were instrumental in Romney's strong finish in Iowa and his victory in Florida.

  • Scott Conroy On Twitter»

    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.

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