In an attempt to eject Rick Santorum from the presidential race by force, Mitt Romney’s campaign will unveil a nearly $2 million television ad buy on the Pennsylvania airwaves beginning on Monday.
According to sources tracking TV ad spending the buy, totaling $1.9 million, is widespread, hitting media markets from Philadelphia to Erie between April 9 and April 22 — two days before the state’s April 24 primary.
(The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Salena Zito reported that the buy could grow even larger — eventually ballooning to nearly $3 million.)
Rick Santorum has already made clear that “we have to win” Pennsylvania and Romney predicted this week that Santorum, who served the state in the House and Senate, is “obviously going to do well in Pennsylvania.” A loss in the Keystone State would be exactly the knock-out blow the Romney campaign is seeking to finally shut the door on the GOP primary.
But officials with the Santorum campaign say they do not plan to let the Romney ad buy go unanswered.
“We’ll make an ad buy, no question about that,” Santorum’s national communications director Hogan Gidley told ABC News on Saturday, noting that although the campaign has yet to purchase any airtime, he fully expects they will do so “soon.”