The Primary on Hold: Biden and Sanders Haven't Run TV Ads in Weeks

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Democratic candidates are spending less on ads and focusing on digital

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If you can believe, it’s been less than a month since billionaire Mike Bloomberg dropped out of the presidential race after spending a record-shattering $558 million on advertising. Since then, the political world has shifted immeasurably: A vigorous Democratic primary has been usurped by nearly monolithic media attention to the coronavirus pandemic.

In this brave new world, the two remaining Democratic candidates—former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders—have gone off the airwaves completely. According to Advertising Analytics, a firm that tracks candidates’ ad spend, neither Biden nor Sanders has run a television ad since March 17.

For overall ad spend, the presidential race has “slowed considerably,” according to John Link, director of sales at Advertising Analytics.



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