Michael Bloomberg spent $220 million on his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in January alone, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday. He has now spent $409 million of his own fortune on his campaign.
It is hard to explain how much money this is in a political campaign, as there is absolutely no precedent for it.
The billionaire has already exceeded the $295 million spent by Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary campaign ― previously the most spent by a primary candidate ― by over $100 million. Obama spent that money from the launch of his campaign in February 2007 through June 2008. Bloomberg has spent more money in less than three months, and so far only Iowa and New Hampshire, where he wasn’t even competing, have voted.
The amount of money Bloomberg, the former Republican-turned-independent New York City mayor, spent in January is on par with the highest amounts spent by general election presidential campaigns in their final weeks.
In 2012, the Obama reelection campaign committee, not including the Democratic National Committee, spent approximately $250 million in the final five weeks before and a couple weeks after Election Day. Hillary Clinton’s campaign spent $181 million over the same period in 2016.
The biggest expense in Bloomberg’s budget is advertising. He spent $126 million on television advertising and $45 million on digital advertising in January alone. The analytics firm Advertising Analytics reports that Bloomberg has spent more money on television advertising than any candidate ever.
His campaign has also spent lavishly on staff, paid for sponsored content from social media influencers and provided rallygoers with expensive catered food and alcohol.
Bloomberg was worth $65.2 billion as of Thursday, according to Forbes. The record-setting $400 million-plus he has spent so far accounts for just 0.6% of his total net worth.