Biden won the election. But there were caveats of his campaign management

Xiaodong Fang
4 min readNov 27, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden just won the presidential election with the majority on both Electoral College and popular vote. However, that doesn’t mean the Biden team has always been perfect during the 2020 campaign trail. Here is my criticism of Biden’s strategy of campaign ads spending.

Outspending does not equal outperforming. The limitation of in-person campaigning has diverted many campaign efforts to televised campaign advertising. As of October 19, more than $1.5 billion has been spent on the presidential race alone in 2020.

In the head-on-head race, Joe Biden is vastly outspending President Trump on TV ads, maintaining a nearly 2-to-1 advantage on the airwaves, building his most pronounced lead in the battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

However, Biden’s margin of spending does not mean the advantage of his popularity in those battlegrounds, nor does it guarantee a Biden victory in the Electoral College.

Photo from Unsplash

Back in February, Joe Biden’s campaign spent less than one-third the amount spent by rival Democrat Bernie Sanders. He then managed to clinch the nomination through a mid-March fireback, advantage of factional dynamics, and of course, party endorsement from the Democratic establishment. But the general election is different. Here are the three caveats behind Biden’s ads strategy: late timing, narrow issues, and mismatched allocation.

It’s too late to build an advantage

Biden’s margin of ads spending in almost all battleground states is developing too late. Not until fall did Biden (Blue lines) start to outspent Trump (Red lines) in battleground states. As the massive campaign media coverage kicks in the fall race, it becomes rather difficult to turn the ads effect into the favoring candidate’s popularity.

Photo obtained from The New York Times

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Xiaodong Fang

Political Scientist studied and worked at #Georgetown #IowaState #JamesMadison | Observing #Elections and #China