Jul 19, 2019

Where Trump's Facebook spending goes

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Data: Bully Pulpit Interactive; Table: Harry Stevens/Axios

When it comes to political ads on Facebook, President Trump is still outspending all of his Democratic rivals by millions of dollars. But he's avoiding many of the issues that they're focused on to instead spend heavily on immigration messaging.

Why it matters: Trump knows that in order to win again in 2020, he needs to target two populations: older, white voters and Hispanic voters and the way he targets Facebook advertising by topic reflects that approach.

Driving the news: From March 30 until July 6, President Trump has outspent his 2020 Democratic rivals combined roughly 3.45:1 on Facebook advertising around immigration issues, according to data from Bully Pulpit Interactive.

While many of Trump's Facebook ads focus on fear-mongering around immigration, others do the exact opposite, and try to actually lure minority voters.

  • One active ad campaign running on Donald J. Trump's Facebook page (paid for by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee) urges supporters to sign a petition to "terminate chain migration" because "Many of these chain migrants are not thoroughly vetted. This policy is a shameless Washington BETRAYAL of regular Americans whose safety is put at risk."
  • But another active campaign coming from the Donald J. Trump's Facebook page is currently running hundreds of ads on Facebook for "LATINOS FOR TRUMP." The ads urge voters to text "VAMOS" to a code number to get involved in the campaign. "¡APOYA AL PRESIDENTE TRUMP!" many ads read. 

Between the lines: Both advertising campaigns appear to mostly target older populations. Axios has previously reported that many of Trump's Facebook ads use nativist language and target seniors.

Be smart: For the Democrats, messaging is all about owning your policy priorities, or your attack plan.

  • Not listed are ads targeted to messaging around the debates. Debates, along with immigration, are often cited in ads, intended to boost fundraising efforts before, during and right after the events.

The big picture: Digital ad campaigns, especially on Facebook, are often used this early in the cycle to build lists and to raise small-dollar fundraising. Hyper-targeting a message to reach a specific audience is often the most effective way to solicit engagement.

Go deeper: Another Trump Facebook election

Go deeper

Trump accuses Twitter of interfering in 2020 election

President Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

President Trump responded via tweets Tuesday evening to Twitter fact-checking him for the first time on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent.

What he's saying: "Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post," the president tweeted. "Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 5,559,130 — Total deaths: 348,610 — Total recoveries — 2,277,087Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,679,419 — Total deaths: 98,852 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: CDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets for first time

President Trump briefs reporters in the Rose Garden on May 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter fact-checked two of President Trump's unsubstantiated tweets that mail-in ballots in the 2020 election would be fraudulent for the first time on Tuesday, directing users to "get the facts" through news stories that cover the topic.

Why it matters: Twitter and other social media platforms have faced criticism for not doing enough to combat misinformation, especially when its propagated by the president.