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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 presidential election is being fought online at a level we've never seen before, eclipsing television's traditional dominance.

Why it matters: Television is still one of the most important vehicles for candidates to message during a presidential election, especially during the general election, but its dominance is quickly being eaten by digital, and that's including digital alternatives of television, like commercials on Hulu.

By the numbers: Roughly $152 million has been spent so far, per political advertising research firm Advertising Analytics.

  • Digital advertising accounts for 57.5% of tracked spending (broadcast: 33.6%, cable: 8.1%, radio: 0.4%, satellite: 0.1%).
  • What's next: Up to $3 billion is expected on the presidential race alone, with at least $6 billion expected for all political races.
Expand chart
Data: Advertising Analytics; Note: Trump total includes $20m from Trump Make America Great Again Committee; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Between the lines: The split so far between Facebook and Google leans heavily to Facebook — $56 million vs. $31 million.

  • Candidates typically begin to ramp up their spending on Google's YouTube later in the race, according to data from progressive technology firm Tech for Campaigns. 
  • TV's share will increase in the general election, when candidates pour more money into local broadcast get-out-the-vote ads.
Expand chart
Adapted from a Bully Pulpit interactive chart; Chart: Axios Visuals

What to watch: Democrats launch $75 million digital campaign to take on Trump

Go deeper

D.C.'s building boom grinds to a halt

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The decades-long building boom that remade Washington D.C. is screeching to a halt, undone by broader construction trends and the legacy of the post-pandemic workplace.

Why it matters: Dizzying construction has reshaped the city, reinvigorated downtown and created bustling new communities. 

Facebook fights for its image

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Facebook is ditching apologies and taking a more combative stance against its critics as it faces a new barrage of negative coverage and leaked internal reports.

Driving the news: As part of the new posture, Facebook started testing placing positive messages about itself in users' News Feeds last month, according to a New York Times story Tuesday.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Charter schools boomed during the pandemic

Expand chart
Data: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools; Map: Sara Wise/Axios

Charter schools picked off hundreds of thousands of public school students across the U.S. during the pandemic, according to a new analysis from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Why it matters: The pandemic has weakened America's public education system, as Zoom classes, teacher fatigue and student disengagement take their toll. And that hobbled system is shedding students to charter schools, private schools and homeschooling.