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.

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Exclusive: Facebook cracks down on political content disguised as local news

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Facebook is rolling out a new policy that will prevent U.S. news publishers with "direct, meaningful ties" to political groups from claiming the news exemption within its political ads authorization process, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: Since the 2016 election, reporters and researchers have uncovered over 1,200 instances in which political groups use websites disguised as local news outlets to push their point of view to Americans.

13 of Biden's former rivals to appear together at Democratic convention

Democratic presidential candidates at the primary debate in Charleston, SC. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

In a show of unity at the Democratic National Convention, 13 of Joe Biden's former 2020 challengers will appear via video to talk about the party's vision for the country and how they'll work with Biden to get it done.

Why it matters: Coalescing around Biden and his eventual running mate will help Democrats head into the general election against President Trump with a united front — unlike what they did in 2016.

Harris previews dual role in debut speech: Attacking Trump and humanizing Biden

Sen. Kamala Harris began her first speech as Joe Biden's running mate excoriating President Trump for his "mismanagement" of the coronavirus and scorn for the racial justice movement, before quickly pivoting to how she came to know Biden: through her friendship with his late son Beau.

Why it matters: The debut speech on Wednesday underscored the dual roles that Harris will take on for the rest of the campaign — humanizing Biden during a moment of national crisis and "prosecuting" the case against Trump as a failed president.