Republicans’ wild week of fundraising experiments
Burgum’s gift card giveaway, Vivek’s supporters get a cut, Suarez’s free college tuition, and Christie makes the stage
Whether they’re eager to recruit thousands of new grassroots donors in order to make next month’s Republican debate or to just trying to scale up their campaign operations, presidential candidates this week unveiled several never-before-seen tactics to bring in small-dollar cash. We’ll break down the surprisingly creative fundraising strategies we’ve seen from some of the GOP campaigns and more in this week’s FWIW.
By the numbers
FWIW, political advertisers spent just over $8.3 million on Facebook and Instagram ads last week. These were the top ten spenders nationwide:
The Koch Brothers’ network is continuing its online ad barrage against Donald Trump, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. Americans for Prosperity Action spent around $75,000 on these ads attacking the former President by saying that he is a loser (fact check: true) who is unable to beat Biden next year. The group is targeting Republican voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina - making them the top spending political advertiser on Meta’s platforms in all four states.
California U.S. Senate candidate Adam Schiff continues to spend heavily on digital ads - and he’s now running persuasion-oriented “boosted news” ads from a page called the Golden State Pulse. The new page promotes favorable coverage of Schiff’s efforts to take on Donald Trump, as well as his focus on delivering for his district.
Meanwhile, political campaigns spent $740,000 on Google and YouTube ads last week - far less than the previous week. Here were the top ten spenders nationwide:
The Biden campaign is running some ~throwback~ ads featuring President Obama making an ask for small dollar donations (and be sure to watch until the very end for a pretty great Biden cameo).
…and on Snapchat, political campaigns and organizations in the United States have spent around $1.5 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 - 7/8):
Donald Trump has been engaging with UFC fans: he attended a fight and went on the popular UFC Unfiltered podcast earlier this week.
Ron DeSantis may start doing media interviews, in an attempt to shore up what has been a lackluster campaign thus far
Francis Suarez’s super PAC is hawking “Pardon Trump” bumper stickers
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign is going about as well as you think it would. Trigger warning: flatulence.
From around the internet
Republicans’ much-hyped candidate for U.S. Senate in Montana, Tim Sheehy, hit a road bump this week with past inappropriate Facebook posts surfaced by Insider.
Democrats have launched a new AI platform to boost their grassroots fundraising efforts. Quiller, founded by Democratic strategist Mike Nellis, will be run by Hillary Lehr and has received funding from Grassroots Analytics and Higher Ground Labs.
A freshman GOP Congressman has been banned from Wikipedia for making too many edits about himself, according to the Daily Beast.
The GOP’s wild week of fundraising experiments
Whether they’re eager to recruit thousands of new grassroots donors in order to make next month’s Republican debate or to just trying to scale up their campaign operations, presidential candidates this week unveiled several new never-before-seen tactics to bring in small-dollar cash. Here are a few that you should know about:
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