Even though they were nowhere near the top of the polls, far-left billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg have already spent over $200 million in the hopes of buying the Democrat Party presidential nomination.
Bloomberg has spent $120 million in only three weeks in the race, as he attempts to make up for lost time since entering the fold. Steyer and Bloomberg have spent more than double what every non-billionaire in the race has spent throughout the current cycle.
“We’ve never seen spending like this in a presidential race,” said Jim McLaughlin, a GOP political consultant who worked on Bloomberg’s mayoral campaigns in New York City. “He has a limitless budget.”
Steyer’s strategy is to focus primarily on the early voting states. He has spent $37 million in the states of Nevada, Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire with much of the money going into digital ads. He has more than doubled the combined spending for ads by front runners including Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden since entering the race in July. Meanwhile, Bloomberg is all but ignoring these early states and focusing on the long haul.
Bloomberg is putting the majority of his spending in Super Tuesday states that could put him in the lead despite his late start. He has spent over $13 million in California, a delegate-rich state that could propel him into the nomination. He has also spent $13 million in both Texas and Florida, two other states that offer a bevy of delegates.
“We’re running out of ways to describe [the ad expenditures] at this point,” said Nick Stapleton, who works as vice president of analytics for Advertising Analytics. “It’s pretty difficult to make a comparison. … You’re looking at one-third of Obama’s 2012 total [ad] spend through the general [election] in one month.”
Doug Wilson, a political strategist based out of North Carolina, said he sees Bloomberg’s advertisements “at least three times a day.” He says the former New York City Mayor is off to a good start, but will have to improve his numbers substantially with black Democrats to win the state.
“You still have to get a sizable portion of the African American vote to be able to be competitive but with him running ads as he has it has increased his numbers nationally,” Wilson said, referencing Bloomberg’s recent improvement in the polls.
Steyer has a 60 person team active in South Carolina where he hopes to court black votes as well. According to a recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, he has edged up to five percent of support from Democrat voters in the state, one point ahead of Buttigieg. Despite their seemingly endless cash supply, not everyone is convinced that it will be enough for them to have a chance at winning the primary.
“After you see the same TV ad 10 times, it’s not going to have as big an impact,” said Christian Heiens, a political marketer with Saber Communications, who compared the spending of Steyer and Bloomberg with failed 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. “And that’s not just in politics, that’s in anything in marketing.”
“I don’t sell anybody short, but rich white billionaires don’t have any real appeal to black voters in the South,” said Brad Coker, a pollster for Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy. “Billionaires have never really done well with Southern voters.”
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POLL: 15% of Sanders Supporters Plan to Vote For Donald Trump in November
They prefer Trump to an establishment Democrat.
New polling from ABC suggests that Donald Trump is primed to win over a significant share of Bernie Sanders primary voters in the November general election, suggesting that some of Bernie’s Bros don’t intend to bend the knee to likely establishment Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The poll reveals that 15% of self-identifying Bernie Sanders supporters already plan on voting for Trump in November. President Trump ultimately ended up winning the votes of 12% of 2016 Sanders supporters, suggesting he’s increased his appeal to the democratic socialist’s supporters.
Some centrist Democrats have expressed their personal distaste of Sanders(and some Gabbard) supporters on account of their perceived unwillingness to vote for the Democratic nominee, forgetting that it’s the obligation of American political candidates to win the votes of citizens who chose to support their opponents in primaries.
While Trump and Sanders are on opposite ends of the American political spectrum, they could be compared in a sense that they’re both considered political populists. Trump’s policy positions on trade, some foreign policy, and American manufacturing are closer to the Sanders’ views than Joe Biden’s reheated neoliberal political program.
Perhaps even more significantly, the poll shows that Biden gauges the lowest ever recorded “enthusiasm level” for a Democratic Presidential nominee. A paltry 24% of likely Biden voters describe themselves as “very enthusiastic” to vote for him in November.
With a voter base that seems lethargic in an unprecedented fashion, it’s possible that Joe Biden could go down as the most “low energy” major Presidential candidate in recent American political history.
The poll’s general election survey reveals a tight contest between Biden and Trump, with the former Vice President leading within the margin of error by 49% to 47%. Trump’s polling has improved significantly in recent weeks in ABC’s surveys, in part because of high public approval of the federal response to the Chinese coronavirus epidemic.
Biden seems to have largely disappeared from the national conversation in the wake of the historical epidemic, only sparsely appearing on public broadcasts in bizarre gaffe-filled livestreams from a converted recreation room in his Delaware home.
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