In case you missed out on the excitement, Super Tuesday — the most signifiant day of voting in the 2020 primary election — went down on March 3. Democratic presidential candidates were vying for delegates in 14 states and in one U.S. territory, and Michael Bloomberg, among others, did not fare well. In fact, the former New York City mayor has officially ended his campaign. Now, voters are dying to know: How much money did Bloomberg spend?
Spoiler alert: He dropped a serious amount of cash in a short period of time. And most of it went to advertising. You know, if you couldn't tell by the bombardment of Bloomberg radio, television, and online ads, along with the massive amounts of direct mailers his campaign sent out. (I know I received several.)
Now that Bloomberg is out of the presidential running — and has already endorsed Joe Biden — voters are trying to wrap their heads around the amount of money the billionaire spent on his short-lived campaign. Let's try to put things into perspective.
How much did Bloomberg spend on his campaign?
Although a definite amount of money hasn't yet been determined, near the end of February, Bloomberg had already spent $450 million on ads alone, according to NPR. Meanwhile, Fox News estimated he had spent more than $550 million in total. Either way, that's a lot of money. Especially considering he didn't even launch his campaign until Nov. 24 — meaning it only lasted 101 days.
Plenty of voters argued that Bloomberg should have spent his money on a cause more worthwhile than a long-shot attempt at buying the Democratic presidential nomination. (He only won the American Samoa on Super Tuesday, after all.) Just to put thing into perspective, let's take a look at what else $500 million could potentially accomplish. (You know, besides pumping out a sh-t ton of presidential ads only to come in last place.)
Billionaire Mike Bloomberg spent $500M on ads promoting himself and got 5% of the delegates needed for the nomination.— Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) March 4, 2020
That money could have:
*Paid for a year of health care for 44,800 Americans
*Wiped out student debt for 17,100 people
*Housed 11,700 homeless people for a year
As one Twitter user pointed out, $500 million could have paid for a year of health care for 44,800 Americans. Or it could have wiped out student debt for 17,100 people. Or even housed 11,700 homeless people for a year. We'll just let that sink in.
Another Twitter user shared that instead of blowing $500 million on a failed attempt at a presidential campaign, Bloomberg could have fixed the pipes in Flint, Michigan. Or he could have paid for 40,000 high school students to go to college. He might have also opted to build 500 new green homes for low-income families.
So #MikeBloomberg is out & he spent over $500 million dollars on his four month campaign. He could have:— Mustafa Santiago Ali (@EJinAction) March 4, 2020
•Fixed the pipes in #Flint
•Sent 40,000 high school students to college
•Built 500 new green homes for low-income families
I pray he helps build Democratic infrastructures pic.twitter.com/E3DLdofhjt
Others made similarly valid — though decidedly less altruistic — points. One person tweeted, "If Mike Bloomberg wanted to waste $750 million dollars to finish in last place, he could have just purchased the Marlins." (Ohhh, burn.)
If Mike Bloomberg wanted to waste $750 million dollars to finish in last place, he could have just purchased the Marlins.— Did the Phillies lose? (@DidthePhilslose) March 4, 2020
Another Twitter user wrote, "It is a moral abomination that Mike Bloomberg spent half a billion dollars trying to buy an election instead of giving that money to me to buy dope clothes and sh-t." (Which, we mean, same.)
it is a moral abomination that Mike Bloomberg spent half a billion dollars trying to buy an election instead of giving that money to me to buy dope clothes and shit— Law Boy, Esq. (@The_Law_Boy) March 4, 2020
Or, what if Bloomberg poured all of that cash — or even just a portion of it — into voter turnout? Yet another Twitter user argue, "He could secure Democratic power for a generation but he doesn't give a sh-t."
honestly though if he just dedicated a fraction of this to like voter turnout he could secure Democratic power for a generation but he doesn't give a shit— Law Boy, Esq. (@The_Law_Boy) March 4, 2020
Yet another Twitter user pointed out a particularly delicious alternative. "So instead of spending $500 million to win America Samoa, #MikeBloomberg could have bought 100 million boxes of Samoa girl scout cookies." (This both an incredibly entertaining thought — and an incredibly accurate one — considering cookies are $5 a box these days, )
One thing's for sure: There are many worthy ways that Bloomberg could have spent that $500 million. Unfortunately though, he wasted it on a long-shot attempt to buy the Democratic presidential ticket.