Perhaps no candidate has invested more energy in making the debate than Perry, the former Texas governor aiming for redemption after flaming out in his 2012 presidential run. Six months before any votes are cast in Iowa or New Hampshire, Perry’s super PAC is spending $1 million on national cable and radio advertising, a gambit meant to boost his standing by a few points and push him onto the stage.
“We decided that we needed to spend some money to support his efforts as a more national audience is getting reeducated to Rick Perry,” said Austin Barbour, who leads the $17 million Opportunity and Freedom PAC. “Obviously, the debate is a big deal.”
So the group is forced to spend its war chest on advertising in states like North Dakota and West Virginia that are highly unlikely to influence the Republican nominating contest.