President Trump’s reelection campaign is aggressively investing in digital advertising — a strategy that helped him win the White House in 2016.
Team Trump has poured more than $170 million into aggressive marketing on Facebook and Google ads, compared to just $90 million from the Biden campaign according to new data from DC comms shop Bully Pulpit Interactive, according to The Hill.
Biden’s camp has been ramping up its spending online in an effort to catch up, and has been matching the president in the battleground states.
Last month Biden announced a $280 million ad buy covering 15 states of which 20% would be devoted to digital spending, Business Insider reported. Recent Facebook posts from his campaign have warned of tightening polls to convince Americans to open their wallets to him.
Though conservatives have long griped about tech censorship online, many of the top performing Facebook posts come from conservatives opinion leaders and websites like Ben Shapiro and his Daily Wire.
The Trump campaign is hoping their big bet on digital will juice turnout in the key swing states, while liberals have long fretted about losing ground on the platform.
Facebook will shut down all political ads on the site one week before the election in a step to assuage fears that the platform is open to manipulation from nefarious foreign actors.
“This election is not going to be business as usual,” Zuckerberg wrote in a lengthy post on his Facebook profile. “We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy.”
Social media companies are increasingly becoming battleground states of their own. On Saturday, Twitter moved to censor a tweet from Trump urging North Carolina voters to vote in person if their mail in vote was not recorded. It was only the latest such action taken by the company against Trump’s tweets.
Both Twitter and Facebook say they will be aggressive in policing premature claims of victory on election night.
“Many experts are predicting that we may not have a final result on election night,” Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post last week. “It’s important that we prepare for this possibility in advance and understand that there could be a period of intense claims and counter-claims as the final results are counted.”