There are a lot of people running for president this year. But have you heard of Matt Matern? Or Don Blankenship? What about Bill Kreml or Lincoln Chafee? Believe it or not, there are candidates running to be president who are so small they haven’t even made the New York Times’ official Presidential Candidate Tracker. We wanted to see what these candidates are spending, and the only identifying criteria are: a candidate must be in our system and must not in the aforementioned candidate tracker. Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at these candidates and how/where they’re spending their money.
Don Blankenship’s Advertising Campaign
Mr. Blankenship gained some degree of fame and notoriety in 2018 when he coined the phrase “cocaine Mitch” during his run for Senate in West Virginia. He garnered 20% of republican vote in that primary contest, winning four counties. Before that he was a mining executive found guilty of willfully violating safety standards. This time around he’s running as a member of the Constitution party and focusing his attention on West Virginia. He is running ad exclusively on Facebook. His ads fit into three categories: name-id and campaign awareness, airing grievances he has with public figures, and defending his criminal record. Most of the $893 Mr. Blankenship has spent on advertising was spent in January 2019, though he didn’t officially declare as a candidate until October 2019. Since his announcement, he has spent $20 on advertising in West Virginia.