Steyer spends big on Facebook ads in Nevada, South Carolina

Steyer spends big on Facebook ads in Nevada, South Carolina
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Billionaire businessman Tom SteyerTom SteyerProgressive advocates propose T 'green stimulus' plan Candidates want data privacy rules, except for their own campaigns Budowsky: Biden should pull together a 'dream team of rivals' MORE is leaning on a flood of Facebook advertisements in Nevada and South Carolina to gin up support for his presidential campaign ahead of the states' forthcoming caucus and primary, respectively.

Steyer is far outpacing his 2020 Democratic rivals in Facebook ad spending in both states ahead of Saturday’s caucuses in Nevada and South Carolina’s primary on Feb. 29, according to data compiled by crowdfunding technology platform Booster that was first shared with The Hill.   

Steyer has dropped more than four times the amount of money on Facebook ads in Nevada in the last 90 days than Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Cuomo's been good, but he's not going to be the Democratic nominee Does Joe Biden really want to be president? MORE (I-Vt.), who spent the second-most out of the primary field in the state. Steyer spent $986,471 in Facebook ads in the Silver State in the past three months and $426,328 in the last 30 days alone.

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The heavy spending comes as Steyer hopes for a strong finish in Nevada, the first nominating state to have a diverse electorate. However, despite his heavy expenditures, he finds himself stuck in the primary field’s middle tier in the state behind Sanders, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Biden to host 'virtual fireside chat' with donors Esper faces tough questions on dismissal of aircraft carrier's commander MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenMomentum grows to change medical supply chain from China Why Gretchen Whitmer's stock is rising with Team Biden Democrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog MORE (D-Mass.). 

Steyer was also left out of this week’s debate in Las Vegas after failing to reach the Democratic National Committee’s polling threshold.

The philanthropist is also opening up his deep war chest in South Carolina, far surpassing his Democratic rivals.

Steyer has spent over $1.5 million on Facebook ads in the Palmetto State in the past three months and $643,949 in the last 30 days. The spending has accounted for 68 percent of all dollars spent on the ads in South Carolina in the last 30 days among Democratic presidential contenders, according to Booster.

Former New York Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFormer Bloomberg staffer seeks class-action lawsuit over layoffs Bloomberg spent over 0M on presidential campaign The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE has spent the second most on Facebook ads in South Carolina, dishing out $179,182 in the past 90 days and $73,046 in the last 30 days.

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Steyer’s campaign has cast South Carolina as a prime opportunity for him to break out, investing heavily on advertising on other platforms and filling his campaign staff there with a diverse set of local South Carolinians.

The heavy investitures in South Carolina has pushed Steyer to third place in several state polls, though he still finds himself several points behind Biden and Sanders.

“Steyer has been laser focused on performing well in Nevada and South Carolina throughout this election as he captured 59% of Facebook ad spending in South Carolina and 56% in Nevada in Q4 according to our analysis,” said Booster co-founder Aaron Earls. “His polling in these states continued to increase late last year through to today according to Five Thirty Eight so his commitment to investing in these states seems to be paying off.”

“The question of whether Steyer will overperform in these states is if he also invested in a grassroots effort to maximize and manage the Nevada caucuses, and whether he can solidify his position in South Carolina as voters pay more attention to the race in the days leading up to the election.”

Analysis of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries have shown correlations between how Facebook ads were targeted and the support candidates got in those races. For instance, 66 percent of Sanders’s Facebook ad buys targeted voters under the age of 45, according to Booster, a demographic he won handily. Meanwhile Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharWhy Gretchen Whitmer's stock is rising with Team Biden Biden says his administration could help grow 'bench' for Democrats Democrats fear coronavirus impact on November turnout MORE (D-Minn.) used roughly the same amount of her Facebook ad buys to target voters over the age of 45, a demographic she took in the Granite State.