Aug 15, 2018

Trump group, Senate candidates among biggest spenders on Google

Trump's Make America Great Again Committee dominated Google ad spending. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The top political spenders on Google's ad platforms since the end of May include President Trump's political committee as well as individual candidates in competitive races, according to data the company released for the first time on Wednesday.

The big picture: New ad transparency initiatives on the part of major web platforms allow the public to see, to varying degrees, how online advertisers are trying to influence their votes.

Top spenders on Google's platforms since the last day of May, which includes the Search tool and YouTube, came from both sides of the aisle, including:

  • Trump's Make America Great Again Committee, which has spent $629,500 on ads.
  • The political group One Nation, which spent $440,300 on ads — at least some of which had conservative messages on immigration.
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which spent $341,600.

Individual candidates have poured money into the platforms as well.

  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has spent $324,300 since May 31 on ads for his Senate campaign.
  • Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D), who is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in Texas, has spent $266,000.

Top keywords — or the terms advertisers can use to reach an audience — included "ACLU," "Diane Black" (the Republican member of Congress who ran for governor in Tennessee), and "Ron DeSantis," the lawmaker running for the Republican nomination to replace Scott as Florida's governor.

Google’s tallies include ads featuring candidates for federal office or incumbents, but not issue ads that talk about a contentious debate.

Go deeper: Google releases political ad directory

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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