USAFacts, the nonpartisan, not-for-profit civic data initiative founded by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, is launching a $10 million ad campaign to illustrate the power of data and facts. The ads will air during the nationally televised presidential debates.
The campaign, called “Change the Story,” features snapshots of a diverse set of Americans and the numbers which relate back to their lives. The data includes such things as median household income in 1967 compared to today; and the number of COVID-19 deaths in one day on April 1 compared to Sept. 1.
Ballmer founded Bellevue, Wash.-based USAFacts in 2017 in a nonpartisan effort to simply promote available government data.
The billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise told The New York Times that as more money is spent on political advertising and the candidates, USAFacts wanted to “put some money into data in politics” and let people know that “there’s data there, data that you can act on.”
“You’ve got to give people the facts,” Ballmer told the Times, in quoting what he called one of the greatest quotes of all time, from James Madison: “A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both.”
The new ads will air on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC before and after the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday night, and on ABC and NBC after the debate, with more airings during debates on Oct. 7, 15, and 22.
Last year, USAFacts released “Thanksgiving table topics” to help Americans gathered for the holiday have more informed conversations using real data.
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News – Steve Ballmer’s USAFacts airing $10M ad campaign during presidential debates to highlight real data