Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke has topped all other American politicians in spending on Facebook ads, according to a new report from the social network.
O’Rourke, a Texas congressman who is aiming to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, has spent $5.4 million on such ads since May 7, when Facebook Inc. FB, -0.25% started its new ad archive. The outlay has come through a group called Beto for Texas.
The big spending on a relatively new advertising medium fits with O’Rourke’s image. He has been described as a fresh face in politics, and he has been known to live-stream his runs for hamburgers.
The RealClearPolitics average of polls, however, shows Cruz with a 7-point lead.
Opinion: Why Ted Cruz will defeat Beto O’Rourke in their Texas Senate
The Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a group backing President Donald Trump, comes in second behind O’Rourke, having spent $3.1 million on Facebook ads from May through October.
Illinois Democrat J.B. Pritzker, via the JB for Governor group, ranks third, with $2 million in outlays. He is running to become the state’s governor. Pritzker has a commanding 15.7-point lead in the RealClearPolitics poll average.
Facebook released its “Ad Archive Report” on Tuesday, saying it’s part of its efforts to “increase transparency in advertising.” The Silicon Valley company is making changes after getting criticized this year for how groups used its platform during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
The company noted in its report that its own spending on Facebook ads topped $12 million in May through October, as it pushed a message about how it’s “strengthening security during elections.”