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Vivek Ramaswamy cancels TV ads ahead of first GOP primary votes: reports

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has stopped funding all television ads less than a month before the Iowa caucus kicks off the GOP primary election season, according to multiple media outlets .

“We strive to bring out the voters we have identified – the best way to reach them is to use addressable advertising, mail, text, live calls and doorsteps to communicate with our voters about the vision of Vivek for America, developing their caucus plan and turning,” Tricia McLaughlin, Ramaswamy’s campaign press secretary, said in a statement.

NBC News was first to report this change in spending.

“We strive to bring out the voters we have identified: the best way to reach them is to use addressable advertising, mail, SMS, live calls and doorsteps to communicate with our voters about the vision of Vivek for America, developing their caucus plan and turning them out,” she said.

“As you know, that’s not what most campaigns look like. We intentionally structured this way so that we could be agile and hyper-targeted in our ad spend.

The announcement marks a significant shift in campaign strategy for the biotech entrepreneur, who launched a $12 million ad buy in Iowa and New Hampshire early last month.

Since announcing the multimillion-dollar ad buy in early November, Ramaswamay’s campaign has spent a total of $2.2 million on television, radio and digital ads, according to NBC News, citing data from the AdImpact company. About $200,000 of that was received in the first full week of December, while last week the company spent about $6,000 on ads, all for television, NBC News added.

Ramaswamy’s recent ad spending still falls well short of his rivals, with former President Trump’s campaign spending about $1.1 million in the same week Ramaswamy spent $6,000, NBC News reported. The same week, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley spent about $1 million, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spent about $270,000, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent $88,000.

Despite a brief surge in GOP primary polls last summer, Ramaswamy’s momentum appears to be fading in recent weeks.

In Iowa, Trump holds a 33.6 percentage point lead, garnering about 51.6 percent of the likely Republican primary vote in the state, based on aggregation of polls from The Hill and Decision Desk . DeSantis and Haley fell behind with 18 and 17.1 percent, respectively, while Ramaswamy fell to single digits with 5.8 percent support.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was slightly behind Ramaswamy, with about 3.8 percent of likely GOP support.

A similar trend is seen in national polls, where Trump is garnering about 63.1 likely votes for the GOP primary. Haley and DeSantis are far behind, with 10.8 and 10.6 percent, respectively, while Ramaswamy has about 3.8 percent support.

Despite those numbers, the entrepreneur was optimistic this week about the Iowa caucuses, scheduled to take place Jan. 15, and dismissive of Trump’s sizable lead.

“Put my words on this: I think we’re going to have a major surprise on January 15,” he said Sunday in an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo.

“I respect Trump and his accomplishments for this country. Unlike many other candidates, I’m not sitting here Monday morning to review a decision he made, but I believe we are the right people to take our America First agenda to the level superior.

Updated at 11:09 p.m.

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