Grind for January 11th
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
– Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg spend $200 million on campaign ads
Billionaire Democratic candidates Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg have collectively spent $200 million on advertising.
To compare, Trump spent roughly $66 million of his own funds in 2016.
Bloomberg, whose net worth is $56.1 billion, spent a whopping $120 million on ads during the first three weeks of his campaign – more than double the combined spending of every non-billionaire candidate in the race – and has spent more than $13 million each in California, Texas, and Florida.
“We’ve never seen spending like this in a presidential race,” says political strategist Jim McLaughlin. “He has a limitless budget.”
“We’re running out of ways to describe [the ad expenditures] at this point,” jokes advertising analyst Nick Stapleton. “You’re looking at one-third of Obama’s 2012 total spend through the general [election] in one month.”
Steyer, with a net worth of $1.6 billion, is focusing his resources in the four early voting states, where he has spent nearly $37 million (mostly on digital ads). Steyer has a 60-person team in South Carolina, where he is polling in 5th place with 5%. He is also popular among black voters, who make up more than 50% of the Democratic electorate in SC.
“For someone who’s come in as late as he did in the game, he’s doing impressively well,” says South Carolina Democrat Kate Franch. “And that’s relative to everyone who’s not Joe Biden.”
Bloomberg and Steyer’s excessive ad spending is at odds with rival Democrats’ grassroots campaigns and voters who don’t want another rich white man running the country. Despite their spending, neither Steyer nor Bloomberg has reached double digits in the polls.
According to Real Clear Politics, Bloomberg is polling in 5th place with 4.9% support and Steyer is in 10th with less than 2%.
Bernie Sanders announces $34.5 million in donations
Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, fully recovered from the heart attack he suffered in October, announced this week a fundraising haul of $34.5 million for the fourth quarter, with $18 million coming from 900,000 individual donations in December.
The total is nearly $10 million more than his campaign raised during the July-September period.
Sanders, who is drawing increasingly large crowds in early voting states, is currently polling in second place with 19.1%.
Joe Biden, who remains in first place with 28.3%, has not yet released fundraising data for the fourth quarter. Rival Elizabeth Warren, who remains in third place with roughly 15%, said she hoped to finish the year with $20 million but has not announced her totals.
Fourth place candidate Pete Buttigieg pulled in $24.7 million during the fourth quarter (an increase of more than $5 million from the previous quarter). Seventh place candidate Andrew Yang reported $16.5 million in the fourth quarter, up from a total of nearly $10 million during Q3.
To compare, President Trump raked in $46 million during the October-December period, giving him more than $100 million to use against his Democratic opponents.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… Stephen Hawking once tried to find potential time travelers by throwing a party and only sending out invitations after the party.