Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg plans to take advantage of the unprecedented chaos and uncertainty at the Iowa caucuses on Monday night, expanding his already massive efforts to blanket the airwaves with ads while arguing that his unorthodox strategy to skip early-voting states could prove effective.
Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who’s fueling his campaign with his vast, $60 billion fortune, authorized his advisers Tuesday morning to double television spending, a Bloomberg spokesperson confirmed. He will also continue building up his campaign staff, with plans to hire more than 2,000 employees.
Unlike frontrunners in the Democratic nominating contest, Bloomberg did not participate in the Iowa caucuses and won't appear on the ballots of other early-voting states, including New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Instead, he’s courting the 14 delegate-rich states that will cast their vote on Super Tuesday (March 3), including California.
In a recent New York Times report, Bloomberg did not rule out the possibility that he’ll spend $1 billion on the election -- and vowed to use his expansive resources to support the eventual nominee if he doesn’t win.
During the first two months of his nascent campaign, Bloomberg poured $188 million into ads, according to recent federal filings. By the end of January, the spending topped $300 million, ad-tracking firm Advertising Analytics reported, dramatically outpacing the historically crowded field of Democratic candidates.
Murkiness surrounding the Iowa caucuses’ results influenced Bloomberg’s decision to amp up his spending, according to the Times. The first-in-the-nation nominating contest was thrown into disarray on Monday when the new mobile app that was being used to tally votes was reporting “inconsistencies,” the state party said Tuesday morning. Officials said the party began to enter data manually once it was clear there was an issue. Results are expected to be released by 5 p.m. ET.
While top candidates, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg campaign in New Hampshire ahead of next Tuesday’s primary, Bloomberg spent the majority of the day in Detroit.
Bloomberg also unveiled a new ad on Tuesday, just hours before President Trump is set to deliver his third State of the Union address. He’s positioned himself as the best candidate to defeat Trump in November, and reportedly entered the race over uncertainties about Biden’s strength as a candidate.
While it’s still uncertain who will capture Iowa, early polls suggested that Sanders would win, allowing him to sail through New Hampshire, where he’s at the top of the field, according to an aggregate of polls by RealClearPolitics.
“It turns out that a lot of things we thought were true, are true,” Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager, told the Times.