The Club's spot is one of at least three hitting Trump in the Palmetto State, two of them from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and all of them mentioning eminent domain. (Only one, from Cruz, explains how Trump tried to use eminent domain to take an Atlantic City home.)
The "conservative" framing is another example of how Trump foes, with a sigh of relief, are messaging now that the race has moved on from a state where independents can easily vote in the Republican primary. In exit polls from the 2012 race, just 53 percent of New Hampshire voters called themselves "somewhat" or "very" conservative; in South Carolina, the number was 68 percent.
But the Club has been here before. In September, the group spent $1 million on ads in Iowa, branding Trump as "the worst kind of politician," strumming the same chords as the current ad. After three weeks, it declared victory, sharing with reporters a poll that had Trump stumbling to just 16 percent support, behind a then-surging Ben Carson. "CFG Action’s ads have exposed the truth about his history of support for higher taxes, and his advocacy for single-payer health care, eminent domain, and bailouts," insisted the Club's president, David McIntosh. "That truth has erased Trump’s lead."
In the months that followed, Trump rebuilt much of his lead. He took 24.3 percent of the vote in the caucuses, just 3.3 points behind the winner, Cruz. And the Club did not spend any money on ads in New Hampshire, where Trump won a landslide.
According to the Club, the lesson of Iowa was not that Trump could recover, but that the ads worked.
"Looking at Real Clear Politics’s polling averages, we think CFG Action’s ads played a part in what was then a decline in Trump’s numbers," said Club spokesman Doug Sachtleben. "Our post-ad polling reflected that talking about Trump’s long liberal history is important."
The Iowa ad was aimed at degrading Trump's support in the long term. Results were mixed. The new ad will stay on the air for a primary that it just eight days away.