How Much Bloomberg & Other Candidates Spent On Their Presidential Campaigns

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images.
Super Tuesday was chaotic, to say the least. Touted as the biggest day in the race other than election day itself, the massive primary election showed the power of Joe Biden’s momentum following the resignation of Pete Buttigieg, Mike Bloomberg, and Amy Klobuchar, who also vied for democratic moderate votes. Still, many are feeling the Bern as Bernie Sanders keeps a strong hold over voters in key states like California which has a whopping 415 delegates and has yet to be called, with Sanders in the lead. 
Amid floods of results, some of the key takeaways from Super Tuesday are: the race for democratic nominee is really down to Biden and Sanders, turnout for Warren was surprisingly low, and no one in the history of spending money has spent more on presidential campaign ads than Mike Bloomberg.
Bloomberg, who exited the race on Wednesday morning after an abysmal delegate count, spent a not-so-small fortune ($500 million in total) on advertising alone, outspending his rivals by more than 10 times the next highest spender, reports NPR. It turns out that his spending was all for naught. Now, the billionaire and former candidate pledges to pour "billions" into the future Democratic nominee, but has already turned his attention toward Biden with an immediate endorsement.
But, Bloomberg isn't the only candidate spending millions to get elected. In fact, the 2020 election is on track to break campaign spending records. Although the 2012 presidential race holds the record for the highest campaign spending at a total of $2.4 billion, 2020 seems to be raking up similar figures. There are no estimates yet for what the end numbers will be for 2020, though it is likely to exceed that. So far, spending has surpassed $1.4 billion between Democratic and Republican candidates, according to campaign spending data. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the most current spending numbers for each Democratic candidate following Super Tuesday.

Joe Biden

Biden has reportedly spent about $63 million on his campaign so far, according to spending data from the Federal Election Commission. $16 million of that was spent on advertising, reports CNN. Of all the remaining democratic candidates, Biden has spent the least amount of money on ads with everyone else spending a minimum of twice as much if not exceedingly more. Since the South Carolina primary, Biden has focused his advertising on southern states and California. His remaining expenses are itemized as operating expenditures which can be anything from personnel, equipment, travel, to renting office spaces.

Mike Bloomberg

Bloomberg ended his bid for Democratic presidential nomination the morning following Super Tuesday. After pumping more than $500 million of his own money into his campaign, Bloomberg announced that he is endorsing Biden. “Three months ago, I entered the race to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I'm leaving for the same reason,” Bloomberg tweeted. “Defeating Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. It's clear that is my friend and a great American, @JoeBiden.” Given that Bloomberg’s campaign was almost entirely self-funded, breakdowns on how it was spent are fairly vague except for reports that nearly all of it was spent on television, radio, and digital advertising. We do know that Bloomberg, along with Trump, spent $100 million on a Super Bowl ad earlier this year.

Bernie Sanders

Sanders holds a close second in the current results from Super Tuesday with a promising lead in California. Throughout his 2020 campaign, he has reportedly spent about $116 million. Of that, $18 million has gone to advertising. He prides himself on small grassroots donations and is proof that a little can go a long way. Sanders has consistently outraised his competitors throughout the campaign cycle with an average per person donation of just $18, reports Vox. According to his campaign spending data, just over 55% of his donations are under $200 each. Other funding has come from political action committees (PACs) like Vote Nurses Values, Progressive Voters of America, and Citizens Against Plutocracy. 

Elizabeth Warren

So far, Warren has spent about $90 million on her bid for Democratic nominee. Of that, $27 million has been used for advertising. Compared to the rest of her competitors, Warren’s campaign has the tightest margins when it comes to fundraising versus spending. Like Sanders, just over half of her campaign funds have come from small donations under $200. As a candidate, Warren is vocal about keeping big money out of politics. “I’m not going to take any contributions over $200 from executives at big tech companies, big banks, private equity firms, or hedge funds,” her campaign website reads. “No PACs. No federal lobbyists. No special access or call time with rich donors or big dollar fundraisers to underwrite my campaign.” Despite this promise, Warren reportedly received support from a massive Super PAC last week, which reportedly bought ads across 13 Super Tuesday states.
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