News that Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is cutting his TV ad spending ahead of primaries in New Hampshire and Iowa next month has prompted speculation that he may soon drop out of the race.
Among those speculating is Donald Trump, who predicted that Ramaswamy would endorse him in the near future.
“But Vivek is a good man, and is not done yet,” Trump posted on Truth Social.
Ramaswamy, whose struggled to gain traction in the polls, has tried to cast himself as the standard-bearer of the next generation of Trumpism as well as a close ally of the former president, despite competing with him for the nomination.
When the Colorado Supreme Court recently ruled that Trump’s role in the January 6th, 2021, riot at the Capitol rose to the level of insurrection and thus disqualified him from the ballot, Ramaswamy quickly announced that he’d be pulling out of the Colorado contest to fight back against what he called an “*actual* attack on democracy.”
On Tuesday, however, Ramaswamy pushed back on the idea that the cuts to advertising foreshadowed plans to drop out of the race.
“Presidential TV ad spending is idiotic, low-ROI & a trick that political consultants use to bamboozle candidates who suffer from low IQ,” Ramaswamy said on X. “We’re doing it differently. Spending $$ in a way that follows data…apparently a crazy idea in US politics. Big surprise coming on Jan 15. 🇺🇸”
“Only 9% of Gen-Z watch traditional TV on a daily basis,” commented Link Lauren, a popular TikTok conservative commentator. “It wouldn’t be useful for Vivek to spend millions on TV ads if his key demo skews younger. At this point it’s most prudent to target those who will actually caucus for you on January 15.”
January 15th is the date of the Iowa GOP primary, but with Ramaswamy polling around 6% in the state to Donald Trump’s commanding 50% lead, many posters speculated that the candidate might have actually been referring to a different type of surprise on the date.
“Is the big surprise your endorsement of Trump?” asked @RobertJSalvador. “No, none of us are surprised. We’re just wondering when he gives the instruction to you.”
Ramaswamy has seen his campaign cool down in the past month, with some permeability between his staff and Trump’s. At the end of November, Brian Swensen, Ramaswamy’s national political director, left his campaign to take a high ranking position with the Trump campaign.