President Trump, Joe Biden ramp up campaign advertising as November general election draws closer

A still from Republican Voters Against Trump's campaign ad in support of Joe Biden for president in 2020. Credit: Screenshot

As the 2020 presidential election draws near, campaign advertising for former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump is ramping up as the candidates attack each other over the economy, the coronavirus pandemic, and street violence.

Ads for both candidates have been airing online and on television in key swing states including Florida, tailored to target voters in various demographic groups.

The Biden campaign was airing four ads in Florida media markets on Thursday and Friday, said Florida press secretary for the campaign Kevin Munoz.

“We are running [those ads] in every media market and in both English and Spanish in Orlando, Miami, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Myers,” Munoz said in an email to the Florida Phoenix.

The Phoenix reached out to the Florida press secretary for the Republican National Committee regarding campaign advertising in Florida but hasn’t received a response.

According to a New York Times report, “Mr. Biden is directing $45 million of the record-breaking $364.5 million he raised in August into a single week of television and digital ads.”

And that report said the Biden campaign recently has focused advertising efforts on Florida, “airing nearly $15 million in advertising in the last three weeks of August, more than it had spent in the preceding eight weeks combined.”

Both campaigns released new ads Wednesday on Twitter, addressing concerns over public safety and violence in the nation, stemming from protests over racial disparities in policing that on occasion have turned into violent clashes between Black Lives Matter activists, white supremacists, and law enforcement.

Trump’s ad blasts Biden and other Democrats over accusations that they want “to defund the police,” showing clips of burning buildings from riots.

“Lawless criminals terrorize Minneapolis, Minn., while Joe Biden takes a knee and delivers a weak response,” the narrator says in the Trump ad.

One new ad for Biden, who has never endorsed defunding the police, attacks the president for instigating violence. The spot features images of burned-down buildings.

“I want to make it absolutely clear; rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple,” Biden says in the ad. “And those who do it should be prosecuted.”

Third-party ads

The Environmental Defense Action Fund, an environmental advocacy political action committee, has launched ads attacking Trump that targeted Tampa voters.

The group opposes Trump’s reelection and said in a press release Tuesday that after launching the $1.7 million television campaign, a new poll by ALG Research had shown “a 7-point swing for Joe Biden in the Tampa media market.”

EDF Action communications manager Hannah Blatt said in a telephone conversation that the group targeted the city “because it’s the biggest market in the biggest swing state and, frankly, is a critical piece of the puzzle for this presidential election.”

The ad, titled “Hoax,” features clips of Trump calling climate change “a hoax” with the narrator warning that “Florida’s climate crisis is getting worse.”

“Both our ads, ‘Hoax’ and ‘Listen’, highlighted Donald Trump’s denial of climate change, an issue that is top of mind for many Florida voters because they’re already seeing and feeling the impacts from this crisis,” Blatt said.

EDF Action President Joe Bonfiglio said in a written statement:

“Florida can’t afford another four years of Donald Trump’s attempts to ignore climate change and harm our environment.”

Republican Voters Against Trump (RVAT) ― a GOP “never Trumper” group ― has created a response to an ad Trump aired in August featuring a woman holding up cards describing Biden as “weak” and saying that he’d “raise taxes” if elected.

It appeared to riff on the old Bob Dylan video.

The anti-Trump Republicans add is titled “The Real Cards” and shows the woman holding up cards with messages criticizing Trump on his response to COVID, the economic crisis, and job losses.

“All Trump does is watch TV and whine about it,” the ad says. “I’m voting for Joe Biden in November.”