Super PACs backing Cruz to launch TV ad blitz

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to crowd during a campaign rally at Ottawa Farms December 19, 2015 in Bloomingdale, Georgia.

Story highlights

  • Ads supporting Cruz set to air Monday
  • Plan includes a big TV buy in Iowa, which caucuses on February 1

(CNN)The super PACs supporting Ted Cruz are making their first major push to back him on television, part of a new $1 million buy that comes as he surges to first-tier status in Iowa.

Keep the Promise, which includes four super PACs blessed by the campaign, will begin a two-week television campaign on Monday in Iowa, a spokeswoman for the group, Kristina Hernandez, said Thursday.
The groups have controversially resisted making early buys of television time, believing that rivals' allied super PACs were overemphasizing TV when targeted advertising on digital and radio would better reach voters.
    The $1 million will include TV, radio and digital spots in all four early states, the group said. About $700,000 of that will be spent on Iowa TV, which is fairly expensive this close to the February 1 caucuses -- especially for outside groups that must pay substantially higher rates for advertising rates than campaigns do.
    Keep the Promise I, one of the affiliated groups, has been the most willing pro-Cruz super PAC to part with its fortunes. The group has previously run a $1 million radio campaign on Christian radio, along with a $650,000 program digital and mail program. It has also helped sponsor ground games in Iowa and South Carolina.
    But the only pro-Cruz super PAC to come close to making an ambitious television buy has been Keep the Promise II, which plotted a major South Carolina television buy this fall only to scrap it at the last minute.
    Keep the Promise III, another affiliated group, has focused almost entirely on digital advertising. A video posted on its Facebook page has been viewed over 1.3 million times, mostly in early-voting states.