Michael Bloomberg plowed close to $2 million into Facebook ads for his Democratic presidential campaign last week, close to double the amount that any other 2020 candidate spent in that same time period.
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The former New York City mayor dropped $1.81 million in ads about social issues, elections or politics from Jan. 5 to Jan. 11, according to Facebook data.
He was trailed by Tom Steyer, the other billionaire trying to capture the Democratic nomination, who poured $936,904 into Facebook ads. President Trump, who’s reelection campaign has previously dominated online ads, spent $682,988 last week. It's not entirely clear how Facebook determines which ads are about "social issues, elections, or politics."
Comparatively, Democratic frontrunners’ Facebook spending was just a fraction of Bloomberg’s: Sen. Elizabeth Warren spent $171,479, Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped $122,764, and former Vice President Joe Biden bought just $73,765.
Bloomberg is using his vast fortune — he’s worth an estimated $52 billion, according to Forbes, making him one of the richest people in the world — to power his unorthodox campaign and does not intend to accept donations, even though they could land him in debates. He is not participating in the Iowa caucuses and won't be on the ballots of other early-voting states, including New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, instead focusing on states that vote on Super Tuesday, March 3.
On Saturday, the New York Times reported that Bloomberg could spend as much as $1 billion of his own money on the presidential race, even if he doesn’t win the nomination.
Already, Bloomberg’s campaign had surpassed $200 million in spending on digital and television ads, just two months into his nascent campaign, according to ad-tracking firm Advertising Analytics.
Bloomberg also said he intends to mobilize the unprecedented scope of his well-financed operation to support the nominee, no matter if it’s someone like Warren or Sanders, despite their starkly different policy agendas. All told, Bloomberg’s campaign totals more than 1,000 staffers, with 700 people spread out across 33 states.
“I really don’t agree with them,” he said, of Sanders and Warren. “But I’d still support them, yes, because compared to Donald Trump that’s easy.”