Big spending is already underway in President Biden’s re-election campaign: $25 million is being spent on buying ads in swing states as poll numbers show declining public confidence in his age, competence and electability.
The Biden 2024 campaign launched the 16-week advertising push last month – well ahead of the schedule of his two immediate predecessors, former President Barack Obama and former President Donald Trump.
The Obama re-election campaign made its first major ad buy in March 2012, while the Trump 2020 campaign made a big splash in October of the same election year.
According to the Washington Post, Biden, the Democratic National Committee and its affiliates had a war chest of $77 million at the end of the second quarter of this year, $23 million of which was raised by the president’s re-election campaign.
It’s unclear whether the campaign’s fundraising alone can fund the swing-state ads or whether it will have to rely on resources from other committees. a source familiar with the matter told the outlet.
Chris LaCivita, a senior adviser to Trump’s campaign, told the newspaper that the first alarm bells could be ringing for the commander in chief.
“If you’re the sitting president and you’re spending $25 million more than a year in advance, it doesn’t take an expert to figure out that you have a problem and you need to solve it,” he said.
Trump raised $53.8 million in the first half of 2023, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is a distant second to the former president in the polls, raised $20 million after his The election campaign started at the end of May.
“In a fragmented media environment, it is more important than ever for our campaign to invest early and aggressively across platforms to get our message where the voters are,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.
“As Republicans race against each other and burn money, our campaign is reaching our audience early and consistently in the general election – which is critical to winning in November 2024.”
The push in television and digital advertising comes as voters say they are skeptical of the 80-year-old president, while the majority of Democrats cite concerns about his mental abilities and electability, a recent study shows CNN Opinion poll.
Two-thirds of Democrats also believe the president is too old for a second term, a Wall Street Journal poll released last week shows.
The ads will air on CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, YouTube and streaming sites like Hulu in states including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
One ad features testimony from a Wisconsin concrete worker who says Biden has “helped the middle class” through legislation that revitalized her industry. Others target Hispanic and black voters with similar economic messages.
The footage shows Biden cheerfully greeting American workers on construction sites and appearing energetic behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office as he signs legislation.
Former Obama campaign media adviser Jim Margolis told The Washington Post that the early ad spending gives Biden’s campaign “the opportunity to tell their story, mostly without opposition advertising standing in their way.”
John Del Cecato, another former media adviser to Obama, also told the medium that it was a “worthwhile gamble” given the president’s low approval ratings and said Biden “needs to go one better.”
A majority — 54.5% — of voters disapprove of Biden’s job performance, while 42% approve, according to the latest RealClearPolitics poll average.