A conservative organization whose sole purpose is to spend money helping promote Trump’s talking points just wasted $200,000 in a single day.
The PAC “America First Policies” recently announced that they would be publicly attacking Republican Senator Dean Heller after he announced he would not be supporting the GOP’s bill to strip healthcare away from tens of millions of people, including many of his constituents. (The senate bill carries a slightly different name than the House version: “Better Care Reconciliation Act”. It’s almost identical only slightly “meaner” than the original.) He’s one of only a few Republican senators to stand up to the bill, and it made him the target of Trump’s ire.
In response, America First Policies paid Twitter to put their hashtag “#HellerVoteYes” onto the social media platform’s “trending” section. Presumably they figured the exposure would increase pressure on Heller to change his vote and fall in line with the other GOP senators. It backfired spectacularly.
First, almost immediately the “#HellerVoteYes” hashtag was taken over by people hopping in to call out the GOP for supporting the atrocious healthcare bill. Many users demanded Republicans work to help Obamacare survive rather than strip away healthcare from people. Conservatives who support the Republican healthcare bill were either too ashamed to jump in or were nonexistent to begin with.
Shortly after the trending hashtag was derailed, a new hashtag went viral: #HellerVoteNo. Supported by celebrities and average Americans alike, the new hashtag has become a rallying cry to encourage all Republicans, not just Heller, to drop their support of the bill. As of this writing it is receiving at least twice the number of tweets as the original one and is placed directly below the promoted version.
Making matters worse, on mobile devices, the #HellerVoteYes hashtag was directly below a trending story about a small boy with a major heart defect who will lose his health insurance if Republicans pass their legislation. (You can find that heartbreaking story here.)
America First Policies spent a massive amount of money on this campaign. According to digital marketing blog Penna Powers, the cost to trend a hashtag for a single day comes with a $200,000 price tag. As of this writing, it’s unclear if America First Policies had purchased a single 24 hours or if they plan on wasting more money in the days to come. According to a recent Politico article featuring America First Policies, the PAC is estimated to have around a million dollars in cash…
The barrage, which will be orchestrated by America First Policies, a group run by many of President Donald Trump’s top campaign advisers, is backed by more than a million dollars, according to multiple sources familiar with the planning. Digital ads are set to begin running on Friday, and television and radio spots are set to launch early next week.
…so they just blew a fifth of their entire budget on this scheme which blew up in their faces.
Nice work, Team Trump! Keep it coming!
Featured image via Olivier Douliery – Pool/Getty Images