Newly released Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has dropped $200 million of his own personal cash to fund his presidential campaign. That money was used through the end of December, meaning he's spent more than $200 million, The New York Times reported.
The majority of that funding has gone to a massive television and online ad buy, although he's dropped a hefty amount on things campaigns can't afford, like millions of dollars in polling before formally entering the race. Other expenditures with high price tags include $1.5 million for office space, around $700,000 for rental apartments for campaign staff and roughly $700,000 on travel utilizing his personal jet.
From The Times:
Federal records show Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, spent $132 million on television advertising, far overshadowing the campaign spending of the other Democrats in the race. In total, the Bloomberg campaign had spent $188 million by the end of December.
In addition to that sum, the campaign disclosed it had nearly $33 million in additional invoices to be paid in the next filing period, meaning that it had committed resources worth more than $220 million within his first five weeks as a candidate.
Mr. Bloomberg’s spending has largely defined his candidacy: His advertising has introduced him quickly to voters across the country who may have known little about him, and his vast fortune has made him an attractive candidate to some Democrats intrigued by the idea of attacking President Trump with an unlimited budget.
Democrats have taken issue with the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) sudden change in debate stage rules. They eliminated the individual donor threshold, meaning Bloomberg could essentially buy his way onto the debate stage. Their decision comes a few months after all of the 2020 candidates asked the DNC to change their rules for the January and February debates. That charge was led by Sen. Cory Booker, who wanted the candidates to qualify by either individual donations or polling.
The new rules state a candidate has to reach a 10 point threshold in four national polls or 12 percent in two polls from South Carolina or Nevada. The donation threshold was completely eliminated.