A liberal advocacy group has designed some ad campaigns to try and compete with the Trump campaign’s social media efforts.
But the GOP is saying they’re “lapping the field with our digital efforts.”
Indeed, experts say there’s no comparison. Not only is the Trump campaign vastly outspending the Democrats online, they appear to be light years ahead in techniques and infrastructure. Naturally, this has led to hand-wringing and worry among Democratic groups who fear they will be overwhelmed by Trump’s social media efforts.
Acronym, a liberal nonprofit, and an affiliated political action committee named Pacronym, announced this week that it would spend $75 million on a “Four Is Enough” campaign to block Mr. Trump from winning four more years in the White House.
“The general election has already begun, and Donald Trump is out-raising and out-spending Democrats online,” the Pacronym website says. “While the Democratic candidates for president are focused on winning a competitive primary, Donald Trump is reaching voters in swing states day in and day out. Meanwhile, outside groups on the left have failed to match his digital investment at scale.”
How serious is the Democrats’ deficiency in digital warfare? David Plouffe, a former top Obama campaign aide, says that if the left does not gain ground online in key battleground states before May or June, then “our nominee will never have time to catch up.”
Twitter may have banned political ads, but that’s only a minor inconvenience for the Trump campaign. The president’s outsized influence on Twitter makes every tweet a campaign ad in and of itself.
And there’s nothing Democrats or Twitter can do about it. In fact, the ban will really hurt some Democratic candidates.
Since June 2018, Ms. Harris spent $1.1 million on political ads on Twitter, Ms. Warren spent more than $900,000 and Mr. Biden spent more than $600,000. No other Democratic candidate shelled out more than $400,000, according to a Forbes analysis. The Trump campaign, meanwhile, spent less than $7,000 in the same time frame, per Forbes.
Ms. Warren’s campaign has recognized the digital divide and the need to engage supporters online and on social media. Ms. Warren has made a “selfie line,” where she pauses for photos with supporters gathered at campaign stops, a regular fixture on the campaign trail.
A “selfie-line”? Pretty lame. She also got a bunch of hipsters together and came up with the idea for a “meme team” — as if Warren messages can be manipulated into going viral. Good luck with that, guys.
It’s even more delusional than you think.
Mr. Leybovich’s argument is that selfies are the new lawn signs, GIFs and memes are the new political bumper stickers, and digital videos and graphics are the new ads and candidate posters.
By rethinking political campaigning for the web, Warren’s Meme Team tweeted that its network of writers, artists and marketers plan to be “Saving the nation w/ selfies & memes.”
Personally, I think that online advertising and most digital efforts are, at best, a minor add-on to a campaign and, at worst, a waste of money. Democrats will never let go of the idea that the reason Hillary Clinton lost was because of Russian ads on Facebook and Russian trolls taking over Twitter. That delusion is hard to let go of and Democrats appear to be doubling down on fantasy.
It won’t matter. Trump rules social media because first and foremost, he is a celebrity and is better known than any Democrat running against him. Plus, his supporters know exactly where to go for The World According to Trump. No Democrat has that advantage and they aren’t likely to improve that much before the 2020 election.