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Bloomberg is smashing Obama's record for POTUS candidate TV-ad spending

Ben Werschkul
DC Producer

He launched his campaign by spending $35 million — or $3,000 every single minute — on television ads.

And former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg hasn’t slowed down. According to new data from Advertising Analytics — a firm that tracks ad spending — the Bloomberg campaign recently became the highest spending campaign in history.

And he did it all in less than three months.

Bloomberg passed the milestone a couple days back when he surpassed Barack Obama's 2012 spending record of $338.3 million on traditional media with $338.7 million in spending.

And as the week comes to an end, Bloomberg's TV and radio total spending sits at $364.3 million, according to the firm. In just the past week, Bloomberg’s television ads have aired 20,826 times.

The spending comes as the former New York Mayor has shown no signs of slowing down after a difficult debate performance on Wednesday where he was repeatedly roasted for his spending.

“Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday night. Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg added that Bloomberg “thinks he can buy this election.”

“We are giving a voice to people who are saying we are sick and tired of billionaires like Mr. Bloomberg seeing huge expansions of their wealth while a half-a-million people sleep out on the street tonight,” was the input from Senator Bernie Sanders.

$4 million every single a day

Bloomberg launched his campaign just 89 days ago, meaning he’s spent over $4 million a day just on television and radio ads. The total averages out to about $47 spent every single second for just under three months.

A projection of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg as he debates is shown at his campaign office in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 19, 2020. Picture taken February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

The money has been focused on the 14 states that will vote on March 3 but the money has extended far beyond the “Super Tuesday” states to include outreach in states that may not vote for months.

Bloomberg skipped the four early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina and up until now, has largely had the rest of the nation to himself. That also began to change more this week. Advertising Analytics reported that Bernie Sanders is airing ads in California, North Carolina, Texas, and Massachusetts.

Bloomberg’s total is even higher when you consider digital advertising. He was also the top advertiser on digital ads this week, spending $14.5 million on Facebook and Google, according to the firm. He ran “60,100 creatives” on Facebook alone.

And Bloomberg has given his campaign even more money. According to Federal Election Commission reports filed Thursday, the multi-billionaire has given over $463 million to his campaign through Jan. 31. His campaign has used the money for a wide range of activities, not just television and radio ads.The campaign says it has opened more than 150 field offices and has hired more than 2,400 staff across the country. The campaign says it covers 43 states and territories, including every Super Tuesday state.

Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.

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