These five progressive groups have spent over $1M on digital ads for the American Jobs Plan
Good-paying jobs, improved roads and bridges, and clean water central to every argument supporting Biden’s infrastructure package
Congress is still hashing out what exactly goes into President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan, but at least five progressive outside groups have been running Facebook and Google ads for several months in support of the massive infrastructure proposal. While these organizations have been running ads about a variety of issues, they’ve spent over $1.7 million on digital ads over the past 90 days, supporting the infrastructure package using a variety of tactics. While we only can analyze publicly available spending data from Facebook, Google, and Snapchat, we know some of these groups are up on other digital platforms too.
The largest of these spenders is the NRDC Action Fund, which has doled out $306,401 on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube ads over the past 90 days, much of which is going towards ads that support the AJP. In many of their ads, they focus on the inherent link between building clean infrastructure and economic prosperity.
One ad makes it especially clear what the NRDC Action Fund is getting at: “President Biden’s American Jobs Plan will fix our infrastructure, create millions of good-paying jobs, fight the climate crisis with clean energy, and make drinking water safe for all.” They’re targeting their Facebook ads mostly to older folks nationwide, but their more localized ads include a Facebook ad campaign targeted at Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper. They’ve also been targeting a YouTube ad focused on clean energy’s economic benefits to swing House districts in Michigan and Pennsylvania since mid-May.
The NRDC Action Fund is hardly the only environmentalist group running digital ads supporting the American Jobs Plan, however. The League of Conservation Voters has spent $307,910 on Facebook and Google ads in the past 90 days, almost all of which support the AJP by targeting the ads at swing districts and states, saying that such-and-such representative or senator “wants to strengthen America's economy with millions of good-paying clean energy jobs - to recover now and build for the future.”
While their Facebook ads are targeted at young adults in 17 competitive House and Senate districts all over the country, their YouTube ads have thus far been limited to targeting folks in New Hampshire promoting Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen:
Similarly, Climate Power has spent $110,153 on Facebook ads in the same time period. While many of their ads, like LCV and NRDC Action Fund, focus on the clean energy jobs that the American Rescue Plan could create, many call on Democrats to reject the Senate GOP’s infrastructure plan. The latter campaign is overwhelmingly targeted at people under 35 in Washington, D.C. - perhaps trying to sway congressional aides away from compromising on Joe Biden’s climate commitments. 🤔 It also looks like they spent between $400 - $600 boosting this POLITICO story about progressive senators’ red line on climate to mostly older folks in GA, AZ, NH, and NV.
Also among the biggest outside groups running digital ads in support of the American Jobs Plan is Building Back Together, the Biden-world nonprofit that was started earlier this year to do exactly this. So far we’ve seen their campaigns pop up on Facebook and Instagram, where Building Back Together has invested $201,868 in the past 90 days. They’ve also been promoting the American Families Plan, and most recently have been promoting the two huge packages in both English and Spanish in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
BBT’s ads touch on similar themes as other outside groups; for example, one IG ad targeting Pennsylvania argues that the American Jobs Plan “will fix 7,540 miles of Pennsylvania roads, create millions of good-paying jobs, and expand access to clean drinking water. Brighter days are ahead -- for all of us.”
Finally, one of the other biggest investors in digital ads for the American Jobs Plan is the labor/climate coalition nonprofit, For Our Future Action Fund. Through state-specific pages in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, For Our Future Action Fund has spent $81,036 on Facebook ads in the past 90 days, most of which are in support of the American Jobs Plan.
Almost all of For Our Futures’ ads highlight the poor state of much of the Midwest’s public infrastructure and how the American Jobs Plan would go a long way to fix it, but tactics differ from state to state. For example, For Our Future WI lifts up Wisconsin’s Democratic delegation to Congress for supporting the package while attacking Sen. Ron Johnson for standing against it, while For Our Future Ohio’s ads almost all have been going after Sen. Rob Portman, urging him to “Do the right thing.”
On the other hand, For Our Future Pennsylvania’s ads have focused on Pennsylvania’s “structurally deficient bridges” and For Michigan’s Future’s ads focus on access to clean water. Across pages, though, For Our Future Action Fund is showing most of its ads to young adult women in each state except Ohio, where the anti-Portman ads are mostly being shown to older Ohioans.
As the negotiations between progressives and moderates continue to draw out progress on the bill in the coming days, expect the online fight over what’s actually in it to heat up. One thing’s for certain, Democrats are to get some form of this across the finish line - and we’ll soon see what that is.