Spending on political ads reached new heights for the 2020 U.S. elections. According to CNBC, the total amount spent is set to reach nearly $11 billion, shattering the record set in 2016 of $7 billion.
Much of this money pours into advertisements across TV networks, social media and digital content on topics ranging from the Supreme Court, healthcare, national debt and several others. Climate change and fossil fuels have captured a significant chunk of political ad spending, and new data shows how different political parties approach the subject in their political ad messages.
In survey data collected by Morning Consult, Democrats and Republicans are heavily split on political ad spending for topics involving fossil fuels and climate change. For Republicans, much of their spending related to the two relates to fossil fuels, with over $23 million spent in support of traditional fossil fuel usage like natural gas and oil. On the flip side, Democrats have spent over $20 million on political ad messaging surrounding climate change and climate disasters.
Democrats did spend more attacking fossil fuels than Republicans spent addressing climate change and climate disasters, with $11 million spent by Democrats compared to nearly $8 million spent by Republicans.
The difference in spending is further evidence toward the large chasm that still exists between Democrats and Republicans on the severity of climate change for the country. According to Morning Consult, Republican's targeted focus on the Green New Deal proposal from progressive Democrats shows how cost and loss of fossil fuel jobs still dominate Republicans’ attitude toward climate change.