Is somebody going broke?

Courtesy of Buzzfeed

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is slashing television spending in the Midwest, canceling millions of dollars in advertising in states that carried him to victory in 2016.

He’s been off the local airwaves completely in Iowa and Ohio. The campaign also has given up at least $2 million worth of reservations in both Michigan and Wisconsin since early September. And in Minnesota, a state Trump almost won four years ago and has expressed confidence in flipping, his team already has chopped about $5 million from its projected fall TV budget.

The numbers, confirmed by the media firm Advertising Analytics, reflect a race where Democrat Joe Biden has gained a fundraising advantage over Trump and where polling suggests these states are competitive toss-ups or tipping toward Biden. The Trump campaign, meanwhile, according to data shared by Democratic ad trackers, has in recent weeks boosted its TV presence in the Sun Belt battlegrounds — Arizona, Florida, and Georgia — and Nevada, a state Trump lost in 2016.

As Trump’s retreat in Iowa and Ohio became more pronounced this week, his advisers dismissed it as a sign of strength, despite polls that show him essentially tied with Biden in both states. And Biden’s campaign has accelerated its advertising in Ohio, which at the beginning of the 2020 cycle many Democrats did not believe would be a top-tier swing state.

“I don’t think the spin is in any way congruent with the reality,” Nicholas Everhart, an Ohio-based Republican ad maker, told BuzzFeed News. “There’s no reason why [Trump] would not be wanting to be on the air in those states, particularly Ohio, at this moment. Clearly there are some unpleasant financial realities impacting the strategic decisions they are making.”

It really does not make any political sense for Trump to pull advertising from these states.

You may remember that there was that report of the Trump Campaign siphoning off like 170 million in campaign donations to Trump’s family and business associates. (Link) And I imagine that there are more instances of that kind of money laundering of which we are not yet aware. 

That could certainly be one reason why Trump is not spending money in states where he really should be spending money. 

Or perhaps he already knows it is a lost cause and is simply cutting his losses.