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Expand chart
Data: AdImpact; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Democratic groups are flooding the airwaves — and outspending conservative organizations — to support President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, according to data compiled by AdImpact.

The big picture: Liberal and conservative groups have spent a combined $56 million on TV and digital advertising since Sept. 1. The liberals' goal: convincing lawmakers to back the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package aimed at combating climate change and expanding the social safety net.

  • The conservative aim has been to pressure Democrats to vote against it.
  • The parties have been touting their ad buys in the media, as they signal to lawmakers they will be given some protective air cover in next year's midterms, or face targeted attacks because of their positions.

By the numbers: Building Back Together, an outside group that takes unlimited donations and works closely with the White House, is the biggest spender on the Democratic side.

  • It has spent $8 million, part of the Democrats' $36.8 million in total spending.
  • For conservatives, a new group, Common Sense Leadership Fund, led by Kevin McLaughlin, former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has spent $9.4 million.
  • In total, conservative groups have placed about $19.1 million on broadcast, cable, satellite TV, as well as digital and radio platforms, from Sept. 1–Oct. 5.

Go deeper

Pelosi hopeful of Build Back Better Act deal in 2022

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 15. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she's still hopeful of reaching an agreement on President Biden's Build Back Better legislation, after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Sunday he wouldn't support the bill.

What she's saying: The Democrats' "work For The People demands that we stay at the table to pass the Build Back Better Act," Pelosi said in a "Dear Colleague" letter on Sunday night, which did not name Manchin.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
43 mins ago - Health

The end of the Omicron wave is in sight

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

The Omicron wave is likely beginning to recede in the U.S., experts say.

Why it matters: Omicron is still wreaking havoc in parts of the country, but infectious disease experts are optimistic that relief is around the corner.

NASA estimates Tonga volcano exploded with force of 5-6 megatons

A satellite image of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Dec. 24, before the eruption. Photo: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

NASA scientists estimate the power of Tonga's volcanic eruption over the weekend to have been 5-6 Megatons of TNT equivalent.

Threat level: Saturday's eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Haʻapai volcano and subsequent tsunami killed at least three people. Scientists warn an "ash-seawater cocktail" poses a potentially toxic health threat, and drinking water could be contaminated.