Trump’s online indictment windfall
News of Trump’s indictment created fundraising gold for his campaign, and everyone else is trying to cash in
This week’s arraignment of former President Trump in New York was the definition of a media circus. Journalists swarmed, speculated, and shared their hot takes on everything from his attire, to his motorcade, to the look on his face and the content creators who were waiting outside.
We’ll leave it to the legal experts to predict the former President’s fate or the merits of the case, but politically, the most relevant thing about this week was his campaign’s fundraising haul. In this week’s FWIW, we’ll share how the Trump campaign and others turned the big indictment news into a big paycheck online.
By the numbers
FWIW, political advertisers spent $9,036,544 on Facebook and Instagram ads last week. These were the top ten spenders nationwide:
A group called the “Texas Nationalist Movement” put out new video ads with a proposed solution to Texas’ struggles… which is seceding from the United States. That one wasn’t on our bingo card. The ad rails against federal taxes and inflation and ends with an incredibly simple slogan (given the context of, you know, leaving the union): “the only way out is out.”
In Wisconsin, millions of digital dollars were poured into this week’s State Supreme Court race where abortion access, crime, and democracy took center stage. On Tuesday night, liberal Justice Janet Protasiewicz trounced her conservative rival by 10 points, a good sign for the state of Democrats’ organizing strength in the state.
On a more serious note, two gun-safety organizations (Sandy Hook Promise and Everytown for Gun Safety) were the top-spending political advertisers on Facebook and Instagram last week. This happens pretty much after every major mass shooting event – advocacy groups try to harness Americans’ outrage to support their organizations and push for legislative action.
Meanwhile, political advertisers spent just over $1,232,800 on Google and YouTube ads last week. Here were the top ten spenders nationwide:
CA Governor Gavin Newsom is joining the 2024 campaign trail, but theoretically, he’s not running for anything at the moment. The governor launched a new Campaign for Democracy is back progressives across the country in the 2024 cycle and hit back against the MAGA agenda.
…and here’s a snapshot of political ad spending on Snapchat, year-to-date:
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From around the internet
When the Republican good ol’ boys in the Tennessee legislature decided to take unprecedented action and expel several Democratic legislators for a gun safety protest, they hardly could have predicted the national attention that their actions would draw. Instead, the eyes of the nation were on Tennessee yesterday, as two young Representatives –Justin Jones and Justin Pearson – were kicked out of the General Assembly. The two legislators, joined by Rep. Gloria Johnson (who survived her expulsion vote) have emerged with much bigger megaphones than before. You can donate to Pearson & Jones here>>. For more on TN politics, follow the Tennessee Holler here.
ActBlue released a statement that the state of Democratic fundraising is strong… but it will be laying off 17% of its staff to continue to “serve [their] user sustainably.” The ActBlue union responded to news of the restructuring, arguing that company leadership has failed to live their progressive values.
Twitter released “the algorithm” last week, which is a highly redacted piece of code that determines what is shown to users on the “For You” page. NYU Professor Sol Messing broke down what you need to know.
Progressive tech incubator Higher Ground Labs released its annual comprehensive report on the current Political Tech Landscape last week.
FWIW, here’s how much money likely or confirmed 2024 presidential candidates have spent on Facebook + Google ads to date (1/1 - 4/1):
After years of running digital ads in Iowa and New Hampshire, it looks like Mike Pompeo might be having second thoughts about a 2024 presidential bid. Or is he?
Vivek Ramaswamy seems to be making a pivot after polling at less than 1% in the GOP primary. His team just dropped $10 million into creating a media production studio (which produces his podcast, the Vivek Show) within his campaign operation. President, podcaster, what’s the difference?
Asa Hutchinson is getting in the 2024 GOP primary ring… but he doesn’t have a website yet. A formal launch is expected later this month.
Nikki Haley finally released some fundraising numbers, and they’re not terrible! Her campaign reports having raised over $11 million since its mid-February launch. Although, that’s a little less than what Donald Trump’s campaign raised in the past seven days.
Ron DeSantis is playing the long game against Donald Trump, allegedly. His strategy seems to be placing less emphasis on the early, splashy states in order to focus on Republican convention delegates. Former President Rudy Giuliani tried this in 2008.
Trump’s indictment fundraising boom
This week’s arraignment of former President Trump in New York was the definition of a media circus. Journalists swarmed, speculated, and shared their hot takes on everything from his attire, to his motorcade, to the look on his face and the content creators outside.
We’ll leave it to the legal experts to predict the former President’s fate or the merits of the case, but the most politically relevant thing about this week was his campaign’s fundraising haul. The courtroom press from this week will soon fade, but this week’s grassroots fundraising windfall will help power his campaign for months to come.
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