A far-left organization announced this week that they are launching a $75 million digital advertising buy, which they’ve already raised 40% of, in an attempt to thwart President Donald Trump’s overwhelming presence online.
“The effort, by a nonprofit group called Acronym and an affiliated political action committee, is an outgrowth of growing concern by some Democratic officials that Mr. Trump could build an insurmountable edge in those key states through massive early advertising efforts,” The New York Times reported. “Mr. Trump has spent more than $26 million so far nationally just on Facebook and Google, more than the four top-polling Democrats — Joseph R. Biden Jr., Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg — have spent in total on those platforms.”
“The gun on this general election does not start when we have a nominee; it started months ago,” said David Plouffe, Obama’s former campaign manager, whom The Times notes recently joined Acronym’s board. “If the things that need to happen don’t happen in these battleground states between now and May or June, our nominee will never have time to catch up.”
“Our nominee is going to be broke, tired, have to pull together the party and turn around on a dime and run a completely different race for a completely different audience,” Plouffe continued. “There is an enormous amount of danger between now and then,” he added. “If the hole is too steep to dig out of, they’re not going to win.”
Tara McGowan, the founder and chief executive of Acronym, said that the group has already raised 40% of the stated goal but that $75 million may not be enough to overcome Trump in key early battleground states.
“Trump has upped the ante by spending more than any candidate this early in a general election campaign,” she said, according to The Times, adding, “and right now our side is simply not on the field.”
The Daily Caller noted that Trump has dominated social media, more than tripling the number of social media interactions that all the 2020 Democrats have collected combined.
“Democratic candidates picked up a combined 58 million social media interactions on features, articles and stories about them, Axios reported Saturday, citing data from NewsWhip,” The Caller reported. “Trump collected about 181 million, data show. Trump is also raising money every time he raises the ire of media pundits.”
McGowan may be correct with her assessment that the $75 million effort may not be enough to overcome Trump as the Trump campaign is waiting for them with much bigger weapons.
“In the days preceding the official conclusion of the Mueller Report, Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, was on a trip to Romania, where he outlined a $1 billion dollar strategy to get the U.S. President re-elected in 2020,” Forbes reported. “Parscale delivered a talk on Thursday at the Romanian Academy with the title ‘Let’s Make Political Marketing Great Again’ in the presence of numerous personalities of Romania’s political and academic elite.”
Forbes noted that the Trump campaign ran tests that showed that “door-to-door campaigning is conducive to much better approval ratings for specific policies than online advertising.”
Parscale responded by announcing that the Trump campaign would more than double its ground game for the 2020 election.
“In 2016, we had 700,000 volunteers help us,” Parscale said. “In 2020, we’re gonna have 1.6 million volunteers. I had 3,000 team leaders across the United States. This time we’ll have 90,000 team leaders.”
Those statements and figures were from March, meaning they are most likely on the low end of the spectrum of what the campaign is aiming for.
For example, in October, the Trump campaign dominated the field in fundraising.
“The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee took in a huge haul in the third quarter, which ended Monday — a combined $125 million,” NPR reported on October 1. “This means that this year alone, they’ve raised more than $300 million — double the total that then-President Obama and the Democratic Party had raised at this point in 2011 on Obama’s way to a successful reelection bid.”