Billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to make good on a promise he made when he exited the Democratic primary: spend whatever it takes to beat President Trump.
In the final weeks of the election, Bloomberg has poured tens of millions into an advertising blitz backing Democratic nominee Joe Biden in several key swing states. Bloomberg, who is worth more than $50 billion, is listed as the second-biggest overall individual donor this cycle by the Center for Responsive Politics, topped only by mega-GOP donor and casino owner Sheldon Adelson.
In September, Bloomberg pledged to spend at least $100 million on advertising and other campaigning in Florida to support Biden. On Tuesday, Bloomberg opened up another advertising front, launching five ads in Texas and three in Ohio backing Biden. That two-state ad buy is slated to total around $15 million, a Bloomberg political adviser told the New York Times.
He’s making the investments through his super PAC, Independence USA, as well as other Democratic political groups.
The approach is a targeted one that has brought Bloomberg success before, when he spent $80 million in the 2018 midterms, largely on Democratic candidates. More than $41 million of that went to last-minute spending on Democratic candidates in two dozen close House races in the final weeks of the 2018 midterms.
Bloomberg’s new spending in this cycle has also already drawn the ire of Trump.
“I thought Mini Mike was through with Democrat politics after spending almost 2 Billion Dollars, and then giving the worst and most inept Debate Performance in the history of Presidential Politics,” Trump tweeted after Bloomberg announced his $100 million Florida campaign, adding the former mayor should “save NYC instead.”
Even so, the money doesn’t yet rival what Bloomberg spent on his own short-lived presidential bid during the Democratic primary. Bloomberg spent more than $1 billion of his own fortune on his campaign, according to Federal Election Commission data.
After Bloomberg ended his primary bid in March, he transferred $18 million from his campaign to the Democratic Party.
Beyond ads to boost Biden, Bloomberg is also giving generously to groups supporting Democrats in down-ballot races.
That includes roughly $24 million to date to the House Majority PAC, which is focused on supporting House Democrats; $5 million to Stacey Abrams’s voting rights group Fair Fight; and $4 million to Planned Parenthood Votes, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. His spending on such groups has ramped up significantly in the past two months.
Bloomberg has also poured money into a few local races to advance priorities like climate change. Through his Beyond Carbon Victory Fund, Bloomberg is spending $20 million on local races in North Carolina, Arizona, and Texas to elect Democratic candidates promising to strengthen clean energy and climate policy.
In addition, a largely Bloomberg-funded gun safety group, Everytown for Gun Safety, is spending at least $60 million this cycle, including to try to flip crucial Senate seats Democrats are trying to win in Arizona and Colorado.