Michael Bloomberg Spent More Than $1 Billion on Presidential Bid

Michael Bloomberg put $1 billion into his short-lived Democratic presidential bid, a record-shattering amount for any campaign, let alone one that lasted four months, according to his latest filing with the Federal Election Commission.

The former New York mayor also spent $176 million in March as he wound down his operation, including $18 million he transferred to the Democratic National Committee. His campaign ended the month with $11 million in the bank and $14.8 million in debts.

Presidential candidates and political parties are due to file detailed reports on their March fundraising activity Monday with the FEC. President Donald Trump announced that his re-election effort, including the Republican National Committee, raised $63 million last month and ended with a combined $240 million cash on hand.

Bernie Sanders raised $33 million in March while spending $35 million and ending the month with $16 million cash on hand, his FEC filings show.

Overall, Sanders took in $201 million for his second presidential run, making him the top fundraiser among Democrats. Most of the money came from contributors giving $200 or less. But Joe Biden’s resurgence in South Carolina and the narrowing of the field before and after Super Tuesday, combined with uncertainty over the resumption of primary season amid the coronavirus pandemic, led Sanders to exit the race on April 8.

Biden didn’t announce totals, though he appeared to be on track for the best fundraising month of his career. The former vice president said he’d raised $33 million in the first half of the March before the coronavirus pandemic put the country, including political campaigns, into quarantine.

Bloomberg joined the Democratic race Nov. 24. But after spending more than $580 million on advertising and building a field operation with 2,400 staff in 43 states, he dropped out after the primaries on March 3’s Super Tuesday gave him no viable path to the nomination.

Bloomberg’s contributions to his own campaign exceeded the $748 million Barack Obama raised from donors in the 2008 election cycle, the previous record for a presidential campaign in a two-year election cycle. Bloomberg also set records for quarterly and monthly spending by a presidential candidate.

(Disclaimer: Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

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