Politics

Mike Bloomberg becomes a $57 million ad-buying machine after first week of his 2020 campaign

Key Points
  • The billionaire former New York mayor is dominating in the race to spend on TV ads.
  • In the wake of Bloomberg's official presidential campaign launch on Nov. 24, he's invested $57 million in TV advertising, putting him on track to overtake fellow billionaire Tom Steyer in the coming weeks, who has spent just over $60 million since July, according to data compiled by Advertising Analytics.
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg waits to address a news conference after launching his presidential bid in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S., November 25, 2019.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Mike Bloomberg has outspent almost every other Democratic candidate on TV and digital ads since he entered the race just over a week ago.

In the wake of Bloomberg's presidential campaign launch on Nov. 24, he's invested $57 million in TV advertising, putting him on track to overtake fellow billionaire Tom Steyer, who has spent just over $60 million since July, according to data compiled by Advertising Analytics.

The latest data from the ad tracking firm shows Bloomberg has spent over $6 million on national TV spots, plus $3 million in local ads focused on New York and Los Angeles, and over $4 million in Texas spots. California and Texas combined serve up over 600 delegates to Democrats running in the 2020 primary.

With just two months to go before the Iowa caucuses in February, the former New York mayor could end up spending $500 million before the first vote is cast. Bloomberg is not participating in the Iowa caucuses and won't be on the ballots of the other early states, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Immediately following Bloomberg's announcement to run, he spent more than $30 million on TV ads that aired on the week of Thanksgiving, surpassing President Barack Obama as the candidate who's spent the most on TV ads in a single week.

His campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

Bloomberg, whose net worth is $55.5 billion, has also outspent every Democratic candidate on Google's ads platform.

He's invested over $4.5 million into ads on the search engine, beating out top spender Steyer, who has spent a little over $4.1 million on Google ads since the launch of his campaign last summer.

While Bloomberg's team has said it would focus most of its online ads against President Donald Trump, many of the digital spots appear to be more focused on the former mayor and his track record. One ad featured on Google has Bloomberg discussing how he would combat climate change if he became president.

Over the past week, Bloomberg has spent just over $1 million on Facebook ads, according to its ad library report. One ad that started running on his Facebook page on Monday describes Bloomberg's tenure as mayor.

Two of the front-runners in the Democratic race — Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — staked their 2020 campaigns on decreasing income inequality and have called for a wealth tax to pay for policy proposals like "Medicare for All" and free college tuition. In an apparent attempt to answer criticism from the left, Bloomberg's has called for "raising taxes on wealthy individuals like me."

Read more: Bloomberg is crushing all other 2020 Democrats with his ad spending in Super Tuesday states

The ads are giving Bloomberg a slight bump in support in the race.

Latest national polling data shows that Bloomberg received 5% support from Democratic last week, virtually tying him with Sen. Kamala Harris and putting him in fifth place just behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Another poll has him at 6%, ahead of Harris.

A Morning Consult poll from before he announced his candidacy put him at 4% support nationally.

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Michael Bloomberg prepares presidential ad blitz in dozens of states