Nothing’s certain but ads and taxes
Republicans give Democrats an opening on the issue. Will they take it?
Monday happens to be Tax Day, which will inevitably lead to an increase in online political discussion and content about, you guessed it, taxes. A series of recent Republican missteps on the issue has provided Democrats with an opening to reach voters online about middle-class tax cuts and taxing the rich - but are they seizing on the opportunity? For this week’s FWIW, we looked at how campaigns and political groups are sowing narratives about taxes online and in their advertising.
By the numbers:
FWIW, here were the top-spending political advertisers on Meta platforms (Facebook + Instagram) last week:
Big Tech is officially freaking out over anti-trust legislation moving on Capitol Hill, with the CCIA and American Edge Project spending heavily on Facebook + Instagram ads last week. The groups’ ad campaigns continue to threaten Americans with the *loss of Amazon Prime* if the legislation passes. Scary stuff indeed.
We also saw Democrat Cheri Beasley, running for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, launched a new wave of Facebook ads this week introducing herself to voters and boosting news articles highlighting her record as Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court.
We’ve noted before that PA Gov. Candidate Josh Shapiro likes to sink 3-pointers in some of his Facebook ads. Yesterday, the Democrat’s campaign launched a new line of swag for Shapiro superfans. 🏀 There’s even an unboxing video. 😂
What’s your favorite campaign merch of the midterms? Let us know on Twitter for a chance to be featured in a future newsletter.
Meanwhile, here were the top political advertisers on Google platforms last week, including YouTube:
On both Facebook and Google, Republican Richard Irvin’s campaign for Illinois Governor has been spending big in recent weeks to unseat Gov. JB Pritzker. The far-right Mayor of Aurora, IL has run YouTube ads introducing himself to voters, emphasizing his support for the police, and calling himself Democrats’ “worst nightmare.”
Lastly, here are the top political ad spenders on Snapchat so far this year:
Midterm spending takeaways
The midterms are here, and we’ve been keeping a close eye on digital ad spending in key contests. For full access to the most comprehensive dataset of midterm digital spending, become a paying subscriber here. >>
Raphael Warnock was the top-spending battleground Senate candidate on digital ads last week (view Senate data).
Stacey Abrams was the top spending battleground Gubernatorial candidate on digital ads last week (view Gov data).
OR-6 was the most expensive swing U.S. House district race online last week, with advertisers backing Carrick Flynn far outspending any other competitive House race nationwide.
On our radar
Every Tuesday for paying subscribers we compile a list of the latest reads at the intersection of tech, media, and politics. This week was a busy one, so here are a few things we have been talking and scheming about:
Campaigning in red states
In states across the country, issues and rights that so many of us care about are under attack by right-wing politicians and state legislatures. How are progressives fighting back in some of these ruby red states? How can campaigners notch policy wins in difficult environments? For this week’s Campaigner newsletter, we spoke with Crystal Brigman Mahaney, a longtime progressive communicator and organizer in Missouri to break it down. Read the interview here >>
Nothing’s certain but ads and taxes
Republican campaigns have traditionally tried to claim the popular lane on taxation, advocating for tax cuts of all shapes and sizes over the years and attacking “tax-and-spend” liberals. This cycle, however, they’re having a rough go of it.
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