The biggest Facebook advertisers of the 2018 midterms

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“Build the Wall MAGA building blocks” kit as advertised on Facebook

On Oct. 23, Facebook made its political advertising data public, showing that more than $256 million was spent on political and issue-related ads from May through Oct. 20.

Texas Senate candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke has splurged the most, spending $5.37 million since May. His opponent Sen. Ted Cruz has spent just $426,813.

President Donald Trump has nearly matched O’Rourke, spending $4.8 million between his Make America Great Again Committee and Donald J. Trump for President.

Other big names spent more than $1 million, including (numbers are approximate):

  • National Republican Congressional Committee – $1.8 million
  • Tom Steyer (Need to Impeach) – $1.7 million
  • Planned Parenthood – $1.3 million
  • Kamala Harris – $1.1 million
  • NextGen Climate Action Committee – $1.1 million


Potential Presidential candidates are using Facebook to promote themselves after Trump saw incredible success using the platform in 2015 and 2016. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has spent more than $900,000 on a variety of ads, including some that challenge Trump and address national issues.

Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker spent more than $2.5 million, including $676,000 on ads attacking current Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Dark money groups show up throughout the report. Conservative dark money group One Nation spent $700,000 on ads attacking Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) while propping up her opponent Josh Hawley.

Senate Majority PAC, which has poured in $49 million in outside spending this cycle to support Democrats, weighed in on several races and spent more than $700,000 in attack ads against Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), including Dishonest Dean Heller and the Spanish-speaking version, Heller Nos Falló. Its page Working For Us has recently focused on attacking Florida Senate candidate Rick Scott.

The NRCC has released a series of ads, supporting Trump’s policies and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, while attacking Barack Obama and tying Democrats to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Advertisements for conservative products also make a splash. The Facebook page United States Constitution spent nearly $467,000 advertising its “Build the Wall MAGA building blocks.

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