Sanders ramps up Facebook ad spending

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has ramped up spending on Facebook ads in states holding primaries this week, as he faces an increasingly steep climb to winning the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Vermont independent more than doubled Facebook spending by his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio from March 5-11, according to data compiled by crowdfunding technology platform Booster that was first shared with The Hill.

Ohio’s governor on Monday called for postponing the state’s primary elections until June due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

Sanders spent $525,239 on Facebook advertising in the four states, capturing 67 percent of the spending between the two candidates. Biden spent a little more than $217,000 in those states.

Biden slightly outspent Sanders in overall Facebook ad spending, $1.25 million to Sanders’s $1.24 million. A significant chunk of Biden’s ad budget has gone toward states that have already voted, suggesting his campaign is already shifting its focus to the general election.

For example, 12 percent of Biden’s Facebook ad budget was focused on fundraising in California, which held its primary on March 3.