The super PACs backing Cruz’s presidential run have yet to reserve any TV time in the early primary states – or anywhere else – despite a combined $38 million warchest that ranks second only to Jeb Bush’s $103 million operation.

The total absence of ads has created confusion and growing consternation inside the Cruz campaign, which cannot legally communicate with its allied super PACs and has had to watch as their rivals lock in tens of millions of dollars in ads before prices spike, as they typically do as elections near.

“I assume they’re waiting so their media buyers make the highest commission,” one Cruz adviser quipped…

Kellyanne Conway, who runs the Mercer-funded Keep the Promise I group, said some TV ads are in production and brushed aside talk of limited inventory or spiking prices. Her group, she noted, is already airing more targeted radio ads on conservative talk and Christian radio, as part of a $1 million buy through the end of the year. They are doing digital ads, as well.

“I can reserve money [for TV ads] when I hang up with you,” she said.