Doug Jones spends big on Facebook ads deriding Sessions
Over the last three weeks, Sen. Doug Jones’ (D-AL) reelection campaign has invested in ads mentioning former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The majority of the advertisements are fundraising appeals viewed by people outside of Alabama.
According to data from the Facebook Ads library, the Jones campaign has spent $12,844 promoting 183 different ads between October 29 and November 15. All but one of the ads mention Sessions, who held Jones’ Senate seat before serving as attorney general, by name and argue that he is too divisive of a figure for Alabama.
Of the $12,844 spent in total, $4,219, or 33%, was spent advertising to Alabamians.
Nearly all of the Facebook ads include an appeal to donate to the Jones campaign. It would seem Jones’ team believes that the stir created by Sessions’ entrance to the race will have supporters of Jones opening their wallets.
The Jones team adopted a similar strategy when his 2017 opponent Roy Moore entered the race in June. During the time the Jones campaign ran ads about Moore entering the race, they received 338 contributions for a total of $158,877.03, per FEC data.
The Sessions ads make up around 30% of Jones’ Facebook expenditures this cycle. The Jones campaign has spent $42,735 on Facebook ads since May 2018.
The Jones campaign has a much greater reach on Facebook than any of its competitors.
Sessions formally announced his candidacy for his old Senate seat on November 7, but the news of an announcement actually leaked out in the preceding days.
The ads align with the central theme on the Jones campaign: That Jones wants to be a unifier, while the Republicans running are too extreme.
The majority of the ads tie Sessions to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of whom polling in 2017 showed was unpopular in Alabama even among conservatives. McConnell’s popularity may have ticked up since then as the native Alabamian has successfully led the historic push to confirm conservative judges appointed by President Donald Trump.
The Jones team has not mentioned by name in their ads Coach Tommy Tuberville, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), Secretary of State John Merrill or State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) — all of whom are also seeking the Republican nomination.
Sessions has won five statewide elections in Alabama, first as attorney general in 1994 and then the U.S. Senate in 1996, followed by reelection in 2002, 2008 and 2014.
Trump nominated Sessions to be his first attorney general. Sessions served in that role from the beginning of the administration in 2017 until the president asked for his resignation in November 2018.
Jones won election to the Senate in a special election in 2017 to fill the open seat created by Sessions’ appointment as America’s top law enforcement officer.
UPDATE 4:30 p.m.:
In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Sessions campaign manager Jon Jones said, “Doug Jones is right to be worried about Jeff Sessions. He knows that Jeff will beat him next fall. Bring it on.”
“Since joining the race, the far-left Democrats and their water carriers in the media have attacked Mr. Sessions everyday. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, MSNBC, CNN, and many others have already voiced their opposition to his election. They are right to be worried,” Jones added.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95