The Biden Campaign Fills Out Its Digital Team Ahead of Super Tuesday

Mike Powers

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign is staffing up on digital, with four key hires ahead of the Super Tuesday primary elections.

On Sunday, the campaign named Ryan Thompson as chief mobilization officer and Kate Conway as creative director. Cat Stern was named director of digital persuasion and Clarke Humphrey is being brought on as a senior adviser for digital persuasion. A Biden spokesperson told WIRED that Stern, formerly vice president of paid media at the Democratic marketing firm Authentic, will be leading a digital ads program along with Humphrey, who will also work with its network of influencers. Humphrey previously served as White House digital director for the Biden administration’s Covid-19 response team. The pair’s program will be “focused on creative testing and being in more places than ever.”

“I’m thrilled to bring on four experienced digital operatives as we turn to the general election,” Rob Flaherty, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement to WIRED. “This is a team that doesn’t just understand how to reach voters in a climate that is more personalized and more online than ever before—they are some of the leading architects of the cutting-edge tactics needed to win this election.”

The announcement comes as the Biden campaign is shifting its focus toward how it can reach more voters online throughout the general election cycle. During the Super Bowl in January, the Biden team launched a TikTok account despite lawmaker fears that the app could be used by the Chinese government to spy on US citizens. Earlier this year, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said that the app reaches more than 170 million Americans, including many young voters who supported Biden in 2020.

“We’re in a new phase of the campaign where people are tuning in, and we want to make sure we’re reaching people in as many places as possible,” Flaherty told WIRED of the decision to join TikTok in February.

Flaherty, who previously served as digital director for the White House, was named deputy campaign manager in August. Thompson was previously the chief digital officer at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where in 2018 he managed a $15 million email-list-building budget that ultimately raised more than $106 million. Conway also worked at the DCCC, where as creative director she built up their in-house creative team.

Over the past four years, the Biden campaign has made significant investments in digital. Since Biden’s inauguration, his team has built relationships with dozens of social media influencers across platforms like Instagram and TikTok to spread the president’s message online. The administration has gone as far as holding briefings with creators over pressing topics like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In December, the White House held its first-ever holiday party for political content creators.

While young voters overwhelmingly supported Biden in the last presidential election, their support has been waning, according to recent polls. The campaign’s continued investment in its digital work will be critical for reengaging these voters with whom Biden is falling out of favor.

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