Sen. Doug Jones's (D., Ala.) campaign recently blocked his own constituents from seeing Facebook ads touting his reelection as an important step to Democrats reclaiming the Senate majority.
Doug Jones for Senate has run a series of ads since the beginning of March stressing the need to "take back" the Senate, emphasizing the importance of winning in Alabama to take leadership of the Senate from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).
Recent Stories in Politics
"Mitch McConnell would want you to scroll right past this message. But it's too important to ignore. The path to taking back the Senate goes through Alabama," reads one typical ad.
"Don't just take our word for it: Even election expert Nate Silver knows the path for Democrats to take back the Senate goes through Alabama. Doug Jones HAS to win for us to have a chance," reads another.
But as conservative Alabama news website Yellowhammer first pointed out, the ad campaigns seem tailored to specifically exclude Alabama voters. Publicly available data shows, for example, the ad attacking McConnell garnered somewhere between one to five thousand impressions in 49 states—including states like Wyoming and Alaska—but zero from Alabama.
Not one of the ads stressing the need for a Democratic majority in the Senate got a single impression in Alabama, with most ads seeing the highest traffic from large states such as California and New York. By comparison, when the Jones campaign paid for a ten-day ad campaign highlighting the senator's visit to central Alabama following a deadly tornado, over half of the impressions were in-state.
Jones, who upset scandal-plagued Republican Roy Moore in 2017 with the help of a large out-of-state fundraising effort, previously blocked Alabamians from seeing an ad campaign in which he touted his opposition to Donald Trump's border wall emergency declaration. The vulnerable Democrat has also been criticized by opponents after his most recent fundraising haul brought in more cash from the United Kingdom than Alabama.