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Bloomberg readies $31.5M ad campaign as he mulls 2020 run

Bloomberg readies $31.5M ad campaign as he mulls 2020 run
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Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBiden's great challenge: Build an economy for long-term prosperity and security The secret weapon in Biden's fight against climate change Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' MORE purchased a multi-million ad blitz in several states as he prepares to enter the crowded 2020 Democratic primary field.

The ad buy hit $31.5 million as of 5:05 p.m. ET and will be featured in 98 local markets as well as some national cable channels, ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics confirmed to The Hill. The purchase is the largest of any candidate ever in a single week of political advertising.

The 60-second ads will start airing Monday and run through Dec. 2. 

The most expensive ad buys were in New York City, with $1.6 million, and Los Angeles, with $1.5 million. Bloomberg also targeted markets in Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

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Bloomberg is mulling a 2020 run and has already filed paperwork to appear as a candidates in a handful of states’ primary races. On Thursday, the 77-year-old filed federal paperwork to run for president, but Bloomberg's camp has said that the move was only “procedural” and wasn't an official announcement of his candidacy.

Bloomberg, a centrist who built a media empire after his mayoral tenure and has a net worth of more than $50 billion, has started his foray into the presidential race with a wide-open wallet.

The former mayor announced earlier this month that he will drop $100 million on anti-Trump digital ads in key swing states, including Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which will run through the end of the primary season. He’s also set to spend up to $20 million to finance a voter registration drive which will start in Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin, but could expand to other states.

“Mike is taking the fight directly to Trump where it matters most, in general election battleground states,” Bloomberg spokesman Jason Schechter told The Hill earlier this week. “He did it last week through a $100 million digital ad buy. He’s doing it this week at the ballot box.” 

Bloomberg’s virtually bottomless war chest could serve as a bulwark to President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE’s gargantuan campaign bank account. The president and the Republican National Committee have combined to raise $308 million so far this year and started November with $156 million in cash reserves. 

A Bloomberg campaign is widely speculated to pose the greatest threat to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Obama: Republican Party members believe 'white males are victims' MORE and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete Buttigieg'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' Biden's win is not a policy mandate — he should govern accordingly MORE, the leading moderates in the 2020 race. However, his hefty expenditures could open him up to criticism from progressives who have railed against the influence wealthy Americans hold over the country’s politics.

“I’m disgusted by the idea that Michael Bloomberg or any other billionaire thinks they can circumvent the political process and spend tens of millions of dollars to buy our elections," Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Prepare for buyers' remorse when Biden/Harris nationalize health care Biden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members MORE (I-Vt.), a top progressive in the primary field, said of Bloomberg’s latest ad buy. "It’s just the latest example of a rigged political system that we are going to change when we’re in the White House.

“If you can’t build grassroots support for your candidacy, you have no business running for president," he continued. "The American people are sick and tired of the power of billionaires, and I suspect they won’t react well to someone trying to buy an election.” 

Despite his nearly endless resources, Bloomberg would still face an uphill battle to clinch the Democratic Party’s nomination — his competitors have been canvassing and organizing across the country for months, and national polling shows him sitting in the low single digits.