Gillibrand Spends $175,000 on Facebook in a Week to Try to Ensure Debate Spot

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (JOHN AMIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) spent nearly $175,000 in the past week on Facebook ads as she tries to ensure a spot on the Democratic debate stage later this month.

Gillibrand spent $174,799 from May 29 to June 4 on Facebook advertising. According to the Facebook ad report, the only bigger spender than her over that period was Donald Trump's Make America Great Again Committee at $492,315.

Gillibrand is still short of the 65,000 unique donors she needs to meet the DNC's second debate threshold. She has made herself eligible already by reaching 1 percent in three different approved polls, but with 24 candidates in the race and only 20 spots, priority will go to those who meet both thresholds.

She said in a fundraising email Thursday that she was 5,000 short of her goal, with six days to go before the campaign has to submit its donor totals to the DNC. Her campaign said her daily donor rate has increased rapidly since May and particularly since her Fox News town hall on Sunday.

Gillibrand has spent $415,681 over the past month on Facebook, behind frontrunner Joe Biden's $575,994. However, Biden has only spent $88,526 over the past week, about half of Gillibrand's total.

Gillibrand complained about the DNC's donor threshold rule last month, calling it an "odd measurable."

"Like, why do you make that your measurable as opposed to have you won elections before and have you ever run statewide before and how many votes have you gotten before and have you passed legislation and are you effective in your job?" she told CNN.

The debates will be June 26 and 27 and moderated by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo. CNN will host a debate in July.

The DNC has made it more difficult to qualify for the third set of debates in September, which will be hosted by ABC News and Univision.

Gillibrand has frequently said the campaign is a "marathon, not a sprint," as she faces disappointing poll numbers. Little-known candidates such as entrepreneur Andrew Yang and spiritual author Marianne Williamson reached both debate thresholds before Gillibrand did.