DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Billionaire Michael Bloomberg spent roughly $180 million in the month after his late entry into the Democratic presidential primary, a staggering sum that’s drastically more than all other leading contenders spent during much of the past year combined.
Since his entry into the race in late November, the former New York City mayor has drawn withering criticism from rivals who accuse him of using his massive fortune, estimated to be $60 billion, in an attempt to buy the party’s nomination. The spending, detailed in a campaign finance report that all candidates had to submit to the Federal Election Commission on Friday, has enabled Bloomberg to dominate TV advertising and become a credible contender, even though he hasn’t appeared in a debate and is not competing in many early voting states.
On Sunday, he will go head-to-head with President Donald Trump in dueling ads that air during the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the other leading candidates have drawn down their cash reserves in a final push before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on Monday.
“Our first month’s filing represents a down payment and commitment in all 50 states to defeat Donald Trump, and it shows we have the resources and plan necessary to take him on,” said Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager.
The disclosure reveals Bloomberg’s campaign spending up until the end of 2019. It shows he spent $132 million on TV ads, $8.1 million on online ads and $3.3 million on polling.
Bernie Sanders was his closet competitor in spending. The Vermont senator spent $50 million during the final months of 2019.