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Data: Bully Pulpit Interactive; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

President Trump is pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into Facebook ads on the Supreme Court and conservative judges in the final stretch of his campaign, while Joe Biden is spending over a million on voter mobilization, according to an analysis by Axios using data from Bully Pulpit Interactive.

The big picture: Trump's Facebook ad messaging has fluctuated dramatically in conjunction with the news cycle throughout his campaign, while Biden's messaging has been much more consistent, focusing primarily on health care and the economy.

Why it matters: The Trump campaign's revolving door of targeted messaging shows the evolving dynamics of the race, and the campaign’s failure to hone in on one clear message.

  • Instead, it's trying to juice turnout before Nov. 3 by throwing money at a series of issues that might rally Trump's base.
  • The strategy is echoed in state-level spending. Several campaign officials have told Axios they don't have a clear sense of what strategy will secure 270 electoral votes.
  • Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien has been dabbling in spending in Rust Belt battleground states in an effort to preserve multiple paths.

State of play: Last fall and winter, the majority of the Trump campaign's ads targeted the impeachment process and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Biden's side has invested heavily in the past few months on voter mobilization and best voting practices during the pandemic.

Be smart: Facebook ads offer campaigns the unique ability to target potential voters narrowly and in real time. In total, the Trump campaign has spent over $142 million on Facebook ads this year, while the Biden campaign has spent over $89 million.

Flashback: Republicans struggled to deliver a clear, consistent message to voters during the midterm elections, leading to a blue wave in the House and Democratic gains in the Senate.

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech bolts politics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Big Tech fed politics. Then it bled politics. Now it wants to be dead to politics. 

Why it matters: The social platforms that profited massively on politics and free speech suddenly want a way out — or at least a way to hide until the heat cools. 

59 mins ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.