Trump’s team targets boomers on Facebook, Bernie doubles down on millennials

By Chris White

President Donald Trump’s campaign team is reportedly targeting the bulk of its Facebook ads this upcoming election season on Americans who are 65 years old and older, Axios reported Tuesday.

Trump is spending roughly 44 percent of its Facebook ad budget on the baby boomer generation. Democratic candidates, meanwhile are only spending 27 percent of their budgets on older generations, the report notes, citing data from Bully Pulpit Interactive. The president’s ad blitz is mostly centered around discussing immigration.

“We assume Trump is making a huge play to hold an advantage he had in 2016 with older white voters,” Ben Coffey Clark, partner at Bully Pulpit Interactive, told Axios. “This follows the public statements from the campaign manager that they plan to target and reach all of their voters online, not just cultivate small-dollar donors.”

Republican operatives say the ploy is likely to pay dividends.

“The one thing the Trump campaign has proven time and again is that they follow the results and optimize for outcomes and not the general consensus,” Zac Moffatt, CEO of public affairs firm Targeted Victory, told reporters.

Democratic presidential candidates are taking a different tactic. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, for instance, focuses about 49 percent of marketing on Facebook on content for users who are between the ages of 18 and 35, while Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii targets the same audience by a 65 percent.

The Facebook push comes almost three years after the Trump campaign leveraged Facebook data to amplify the president’s message.

Lawmakers and critics hammered Google, Twitter and Facebook for purportedly helping Trump win the 2016 election. Facebook’s affiliation with data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica especially stirred up controversy. Media reports showed that Facebook allowed the firm’s app to collect data on friends, because it synced up with the company’s efforts to cultivate an environment of increased engagement.

Facebook suspended ties with Cambridge Analytica in 2018. The firm closed later that same year.

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Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services