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Bloomberg spent over $900M on presidential campaign

Bloomberg spent over $900M on presidential campaign
© Greg Nash

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFour years is not enough — Congress should make the child tax credit permanent Biden's spending plans: Good PR, but bad politics and policy Top 12 political donors accounted for almost 1 of every 13 dollars raised since 2009: study MORE dropped more than $900 million on his presidential campaign, an eye-popping figure for a White House bid that lasted a little more than three months. 

New filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) showed that Bloomberg, a billionaire who personally bankrolled his bid, spent $875,369,840.07 through the end of February. The campaign accrued debts of an additional $31,661,136.33.

Bloomberg’s campaign, which was launched in November to try to settle nerves of moderates who feared a surging progressive Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories Manchin on collision course with Warren, Sanders Sanders on Cheney drama: GOP is an 'anti-democratic cult' MORE (I-Vt.), relied on an intense advertising blitz to close the gap on candidates who had been campaigning for months.

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The filings show that the Bloomberg campaign spent more than $500 million on television advertising alone, as well as more than $100 million on digital ads. It also dropped more than $15 million on polling.

The unprecedented spending fueled a Bloomberg surge in the polls after his entry to the primary field and helped cast him as a serious contender and potential rival to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDefense lawyers for alleged Capitol rioters to get tours of U.S. Capitol Sasse to introduce legislation giving new hires signing bonuses after negative jobs report Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE, another centrist.

Bloomberg, in an apparent recognition of his late entry into the race, skipped the first four nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina and appeared set to head into Super Tuesday with the wind at his back.

However, a devastating debate performance in which he was savaged over his past support of stop and frisk and comments about women, and a 30-point rout by Biden in South Carolina derailed his once-promising bid. 

He won a disappointing total of a few dozen delegates on Super Tuesday out of the 1,357 up for grabs, and took zero states, only winning American Samoa’s caucuses. He dropped out the next day. 

However, Bloomberg endorsed Biden after his withdrawal and has vowed to support the Democratic Party as it tries to flip the White House and several Senate seats. The former mayor announced Friday that he will transfer $18 million to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and plans to consolidate his massive campaign organization behind the national party.

The windfall for the DNC is $6 million more than it raised in all of February, and almost twice the national party’s January haul.