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Data: Bully Pulpit Interactive; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Campaigns are using targeted digital platforms to reach younger voters, especially first-time voters.

Driving the news: Facebook has become the primary platform for candidates to spend their political dollars online. The tech giant makes it easy for campaigns to buy ads at scale targeted to different age groups.

  • In total, since March, Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg have collectively spent the largest amount of their Facebook ad budgets targeting Gen Z (people ages 13-24) and millennials (people ages 25-44) online.
  • Joe Biden has focused the least on the youngest voters.

Between the lines: While Facebook and Instagram are both used by people of all ages, its rival app Snapchat reaches a much younger demographic.

  • Donald Trump's campaign and an affiliated PAC have spent a combined $43,955 this year on Snapchat ads — the exact same amount as the Pete Buttigieg's campaign. Many of Buttigieg's ads are targeted specifically toward college students.
  • While the spend on Snapchat is dwarfed by the millions spent by Democratic candidates on Facebook and Google ads, the data provides insight into how candidates are targeting young and first-time voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

The bottom line: Digital advertising makes it easier for candidates to target younger voters at a fraction of the cost of TV ads.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Focus group: Michigan swing voters think Harris will act as president

Sen. Kamala Harris during Wednesday's vice presidential debate. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Several Michigan voters who are sticking with President Trump think that if Joe Biden gets elected, Sen. Kamala Harris will be running the show — and her Wednesday debate performance reinforced their view.

Why it matters: These are some of the few voters for whom the vice-presidential pick has outsized importance in how they view the two tickets, and for now that's benefitting Trump.

Domestic online meddling threatens 2020 election

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Social media platforms are scrambling to crack down on domestic actors who have picked up foreign meddling techniques to try to influence the 2020 election — an effort that's resulted in a spate of action against U.S.-based conservatives.

The big picture: Domestic influence campaigns are not new, but tech firms are more aware of them this cycle. The companies also have more help from intelligence agencies and media companies to help uncover these operations and shut them down.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 2 far-right "America First" activists

The House panel investigating the Capitol riot, from left; Reps. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Jamie Raskin on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot issued subpoenas Wednesday for far-right leaders Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, who allegedly encouraged followers to go to D.C. and challenge the 2020 election results.

Why it matters: The action underscores the panel's increasing focus on rallies held ahead of the Capitol attack and how extremists were drawn to former President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, per the New York Times.