The Democratic National Committee still doesn’t have a definite nominee, but they’ve already dropped a record $22 million on YouTube ads to start airing in September, mostly to potential voters who live in swing states.
That $22 million represents more than what the DNC has on hand, according to the latest totals from OpenSecrets, but the organization, which operates as the main fundraising arm for national Democratic candidates, did get an influx of cash from former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who turned over $18 million to the DNC after ending his campaign for president.
The money also represents the most significant expenditure of the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign so far.
“The DNC announced Monday it was reserving $22 million worth of YouTube ads across 14 states it deemed critical for defeating President Trump,” MSN reported Monday. “The ads will start Sept. 1 in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and on Oct. 1 in 10 more swingable states. They’ll specifically be targeted at Democratic ZIP codes within those states and will push voters to show up on Election Day.”
The DNC is still well behind the Trump 2020 presidential campaign, though, which has been spending around $20 million per month so far this year, in Facebook ads alone. By comparison, former Vice President Joe Biden has spent just $7 million on Facebook and Google ads in March, according to The Hill.
Regardless, DNC chairman Tom Perez called the $22 million an “early investment.”
“Now more than ever, it’s critical that we reach voters where they are online — and this digital program will help us mobilize the voters we need to make Donald Trump a one-term president,” Perez said in a statement. “By making these kinds of historic, early investments in our battlegrounds and campaign infrastructure, the DNC is putting our eventual nominee and Democrats running at every level of the ballot in the strongest possible position to secure victory in November.”
The DNC has lagged behind the Republican National Committee in fundraising, generally. Politico reports that Democrats raked in around $12.8 million in February, giving it that $14 million cash on hand, but even though the RNC itself had a slower fundraising month, together the RNC and the Trump campaign raised “a combined $86 million in February,” giving the partnered organizations a considerable war chest.
Both parties have reportedly struggled with fundraising in March and now in April, largely because coronavirus-related lockdowns have all but prevented large-scale fundraising events and big money political donors aren’t used to giving online. The DNC has shifted to “virtual fundraisers” and even held a fundraiser over Zoom in late March, according to Axios.
Republicans officially ended in-person fundraisers two weeks ago, but had suspended fundraising operations well before then over coronavirus concerns.
The DNC hopes its fundraising luck will improve as soon as it has an official candidate. Right now, Democrats are still torn between Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who refuses to drop out of the presidential race because he believes he has a “narrow path” to victory if Biden fails to secure the 1,991 delegates, earning the nomination outright.