Billionaires bying elections, the case of Blumberg

Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City and expected presidential candidate, is buying ads in more than two dozen states.


Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, bought at least $30 million in television ads on Friday ahead of an expected Democratic run for president, a formidable show of financial force in presidential politics.

The ad buy, covering only an eight-day period, will begin on Monday in more than two dozen states from California to Maine, according to ad trackers. This initial television campaign will feature 60-second ads — a sign of a massive 2020 Bloomberg campaign budget that could easily stretch well into the 9-figure range.

The scope of Mr. Bloomberg’s ad buy is staggering. It costs more than some smaller campaigns have spent all year on advertising, and more than what Senator Cory Booker had raised in donations from February through the end of September.

Mr. Bloomberg will spend $1.2 million in Los Angeles, $863,000 in Chicago, $754,000 in Boston, $626,000 in Houston and $611,000 in Dallas, according to Advertising Analytics, a media-tracking company. And more reservations were still arriving on Friday.

Mr. Bloomberg was not overlooking smaller states either. He had booked $43,000 in ads, for instance, in Fargo, N.D.