Welcome to FWIW, ACRONYM’s weekly newsletter breaking down digital ad investment across the political spectrum. Each week, we look at whose digital spending is up, whose is down, and whose is non-existent.
For what it’s worth, some of it might surprise you.
They’re forming exploratory committees. They’re giving speeches in Iowa. And they’re visiting diners and coffee shops in New Hampshire.
It’s not even 2019 and the 2020 campaign is already underway. So this week, we took a look at where the nearly-forty potential Democratic candidates stack up in terms of their current social followings, and who’s already investing resources to expand their reach.
By the numbers
Here’s a list of the top political spenders on Facebook the week of December 2 – 8 and the causes they’re advocating for. Some interesting additions to the list this week include Bank of America and the NFL.
Deep Dive – Where they begin
With the 2020 election buzz ramping up this week, we looked at nearly 40 potential Democratic candidates, ranked from highest to lowest reach/following across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
We also took a look at whether any of these candidates are currently up with Facebook ads. Check it out:
NOTE: If any potential candidate is not a current elected official, we put their follower count in the “political” columns
Unsurprisingly, Oprah starts out with the largest organic following across all of the platforms (individually and combined). Rounding out the top five are Sanders, Warren, Biden and Booker, and the latter three are all currently up with petition or survey ads on Facebook designed to build their lists and up those numbers. Here are a few examples:
When we dug deeper, we found that every potential candidate currently running ads through their own channels or their PACs were running petition or survey ads to build followings and acquire voter data – except Stacey Abrams.
Fair Fight Action – the organization Abrams chairs, is running ads urging Georgians to report cases of voter suppression, in addition to ads advocating for Americans to sign up for health care during open enrollment (for the second week in a row).
How they stack up
To put this into context, check out this snapshot of Donald Trump’s reach across platforms, including both his personal and the official White House social media accounts…
…and it’s probably still growing, seeing as Trump comes in as Facebook’s 7th highest spender on digital ads this week. All geared towards acquiring voter data and bolstering his campaign’s lists:
And as of Thursday afternoon, Trump’s Make America Great Again Committee alone was running over 5,800 active ads on Facebook’s platforms.
Bonus: Celeb matchup
We have no idea if Oprah is seriously considering a run at the White House. But if she were, she’s the closest match to Trump in terms of organic reach through social media channels if the race started today. And we might not be the only ones who have our eye on her.
We found this ad the NRCC ran for nearly a month leading up to the 2018 elections in states across the country. And while the real goal of the ad was data acquisition, we wonder what the targets and the results were ?…