With the general election campaign approaching, the top super-PAC backing Hillary Clinton is preparing to release an onslaught of ads attacking Donald Trump and bolstering Clinton. But the group, Priorities USA, is not just repeating its 2012 approach, when its TV ads aimed to tarnish Mitt Romney’s image. This time it is also investing heavily in online ads intended to get out the vote among Clinton’s core groups of supporters in November, particularly Latinos and African Americans.
Partly, the new strategy seeks to keep up with changing patterns of media consumption; TV no longer dominates the way it once did. But the approach also reflects a recognition that in a campaign where Trump has alienated one constituency after another, most Democratic voters won’t need to be persuaded to support Clinton. Instead, the central goal will be nudging reliable supporters to go to the polls, with the hope of boosting turnout among groups that traditionally don’t vote in huge numbers but that overwhelmingly oppose Trump. In a PPP pollfrom last week, 50 percent of Hispanics said they planned to vote for Clinton, compared with 14 percent for Trump. Among African Americans, Clinton led Trump 84 percent to 5 percent.
Priorities USA has budgeted $130 million in ad spending for the general election. Most of that ad time has already been booked on TV and radio stations and websites, and the total figure is likely to increase, depending on donations. Of that total, $90 million is slotted for traditional TV ad buys, with $35 designated for digital. (In 2012, the super-PAC spent $75 million, almost entirely on TV ads.)