Where candidates choose to spend their time and money will often have a direct correlation to their reach in the public. Gubernatorial candidate Robert Foster has taken a route that wouldn’t have been seen say 10 years ago.
In the July 10 campaign finance reports, Foster’s disbursements showed that his single largest campaign expenditure throughout the entire campaign was through the popular social media site, Facebook. That’s more than consultants, travel, personnel, tv ads, sign expenses and other expenses normally associated with a statewide political campaign. He additionally spent over $4,000 on Twitter this cycle accounting for nearly $30,000 of the $125,000 total spend for his campaign. That totals 24% of expenditures.
“In 2019, I believe that an equal or greater number of voters can be reached through social media, as compared to TV. We will find out on August 6th if this theory is true when we compare the amount per vote spent by my campaign on social media to the amount per vote spent by my opponents on TV,” Foster told Y’all Politics.
In June alone, Fosters campaign spent over $4,000 on Facebook advertising through his campaign page, Robert Foster for Governor.
Spending campaign dollars on social media advertising may be a new concept, but it is one that is being accepted and utilized by other candidates as well. Fellow Gubernatorial candidate Jim Hood, reported just under $4,000 in Facebook spending to date and Delbert Hosemann, running for Lt. Governor, reported over $23,000 in advertising and fundraising that included the use of Facebook.
While social media may be one of the fastest and most affordable way to reach Mississippi voters, television news broadcasts still seem to be the place most voters trust the most when looking for the news.