Mugshots and Debate Moments
The Republican Presidential Primary has officially entered silly season
This week’s presidential debate was a primetime audition between eight mediocre candidates to see who, if any of them, could dislodge Donald Trump from his frontrunner status. Several candidates had a few clippable, breakout moments that they tried to leverage online to build support for their campaigns. We’ll break that down and more in this week’s FWIW.
By the numbers
FWIW, political advertisers spent just over $7.1 million on Facebook and Instagram ads last week. These were the top ten spenders nationwide:
On Tuesday, former Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell announced that she is running for U.S. Senate against Sen. Rick Scott in Florida. While the Sunshine State has grown increasingly out of reach for Democrats, a prominent, well-qualified Latina running statewide in a Presidential year could boost the party’s chances. Mucarsel-Powell’s campaign immediately began running a handful of Spanish and English Facebook and Instagram ads to fundraise off of the launch:
Meanwhile, political campaigns spent $1.4 million on Google and YouTube ads last week. Here were the top ten spenders nationwide:
Former Rep. Will Hurd spent over $116,000 on Google ads last week in a last-ditch effort to make the debate stage. He allegedly received enough individual donors (which comes as a surprise to us as his ads were pretty terrible) but still didn’t make the stage Wednesday night. P.S. - we’d forgive the average GOP voter for not knowing what BRICS is:
On the Left, Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action is back on the charts for the first time in a while, putting money behind a pro-Biden ad titled “Strength” that is running on YouTube nationwide:
…and on Snapchat, political campaigns and organizations in the United States have spent around $1.6 million on advertising in 2023. Here are the top ten spenders YTD:
Your 2024 digital dispatch
FWIW, here’s how much money likely or confirmed 2024 presidential candidates have spent on Facebook + Google ads to date (1/1 - 8/19):
After spending nearly $2 million on digital ads from his Super PAC and campaign, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez did not qualify for Wednesday’s big debate. He had previously urged candidates who don’t make the debate stage to drop out. His campaign will be remembered for the free college tuition giveaway, a very weird AI-powered avatar, and raffling off tickets to see Lionel Messi play soccer.
From around the internet
Democratic tech juggernaut NGP VAN briefly claimed that Twitter was banning links to its software but later clarified that the issue had been resolved.
Vivek Ramaswamy had a breakout moment at the debate this week, but this is the real defining moment of his campaign.
Popular Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sat down with The Gander’s Kyle Kaminski to answer 52 questions for her 52nd birthday this week. FWIW, she’s a Big Lebowski fan.
Breaking down the debate
This week’s presidential debate was a primetime audition between eight mediocre candidates to see who, if any of them, could dislodge Donald Trump from his frontrunner status. Several candidates had a few clippable, breakout moments that they tried to leverage online to build support for their campaigns. Here’s how it went down:
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