Illuminating 2020 Report: The 2020 General Election Campaign Advertising on Facebook

Illuminating 2020 Report: The 2020 General Election Campaign Advertising on Facebook

Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump spent a historic $217 million advertising on the Facebook and Instagram social media platforms during the 2020 general election. This report provides analyses by the Illuminating 2020 project for how both campaigns used Facebook and Instagram advertising in the general election campaign, including targeting and messaging.

Noteworthy News in Nevada: A Retrospective on 2020 Presidential Election Campaign Ads in the Silver State

A light fixture in the shape of the state of Nevada with "LET'S VOTE" inside the state.

As a swing state with 6 electoral votes, Nevada was integral on the path to winning the 2020 election. Here we take a deep dive into how the official Biden and Trump campaign pages targeted voters within the Silver State.

Trump’s Ad Spending Breakdown in the “Latinos for Trump” Facebook Page

Gathering of Trump supporters. One supporter is holding a flag with Trump's image on it.

With the election finally decided, it is clear that the 2020 election was far from predictable. Several key voting demographics defied polling and created an unexpected outcome. In this article, we take a look at the “Latinos for Trump” Facebook page and how ads were used to influence this key demographic of voters.

Campaigns’ Different Strategies in States on the Edge

Campaigns’ Different Strategies in States on the Edge

Campaigns may have different strategies depending on if a state leans towards them or their opponent. In this post, Illuminating lead researcher Jeff Hemsley investigates if the Trump and Biden campaigns are using different Facebook ad strategies in six key contested states, including Iowa, Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona.  

The Year of the Youth Vote: How Candidates are Targeting 18 to 24 Year-Olds Through Advertising

Young adult holding a "SAVE OUR FUTURE" sign. Other people appear behind the young adult, one of whom is also holding a sign with a picture of the globe.

Historically, youth voters (ages 18-29) have had the lowest voter turnout when participating in national and local elections. With 23 million eligible Gen Z voters this year, almost 16 million more than could vote in the 2016 election, this large but historically inactive voting demographic is a challenging yet necessary group of voters that presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump have targeted using Facebook and Instagram advertisements. Using the Illuminating Data, we are able to break down how each candidate is tackling the younger portion of this demographic (ages 18 to 24). Both candidates have different strategies on how to reach young adults, but employ these strategies in a way that targets social issues young Americans care about in attempts to mobilize this age group.