Facebook continues to be a vital way that political campaigns communicate with potential voters. We’re now getting a window into just how much money is flowing to the social media juggernaut.
For the first time, Facebook has started publishing a database of political ads on the platform. Longleaf Politics pored over it to find North Carolina’s biggest spenders.
These campaigns or organizations all spent or committed at least $25,000 as of October 24.
Note: The N.C. Democratic Party should also appear on this list, but they’ve funneled their spend through the individual campaigns. This makes it difficult to compile a total.
1) Marsy’s Law for North Carolina: $430,727
This is the group supporting the proposed victim’s rights amendment to the state constitution. Marsy’s Law groups are among the largest spenders in other states as well. Their ads number more than 100 and focus on personal stories of victims of crime and how they would have benefited.
2) North Carolina Conservation Network: $219,391
Earlier in the year, this organization’s ads opposed things like President Trump’s plans for offshore drilling. Now they’re just encouraging people to go vote.
3) NC Common Ground: $197,909
This populist group has targeted lawmakers on both sides of the aisle on environmental issues, tax cuts for businesses and education funding.
4) N.C. Republican Party: $104,727
The party has focused on state House races, pouring money into both attack ads and positive ones across the state.
5) Progress North Carolina: $74,619
This left-leaning group has focused on positive ads supporting Democrats in tightly contested races.
6) Kathy Manning for Congress: $67,037
The state’s top campaign spender, Manning has spent more than 10 times than her opponent, U.S. Rep. Ted Budd. Again, we see a mixture of pro-Manning and anti-Budd ads, plus promotion of Manning’s campaign videos and blog posts.
7) State Employees Association of North Carolina: $48,819
This group has focused its efforts against the proposed constitutional amendments, particularly the income tax cap.
8) Southern Environmental Law Center: $48,207
Their “Protect NC Water” campaign has asked readers to sign petitions in favor of more environmental protections.
9) Dan McCready for Congress: $32,359
The popular Democratic candidate for the 9th Congressional District has promoted his campaign posts and other stories about the race.
10) Searcy for State Senate: $32,086
Sam Searcy started out running for Congress and built a war chest to match. He’s mostly promoted his high-dollar video ads.
11) Carolina Leadership Coalition: $29,870
This conservative group has mostly gone inactive but laid a layer of attack ads early in the campaign.