Bloomberg Comes Up Short

Dem oligarch is election's biggest loser after spending billions to accomplish nothing

November 5, 2020

Never in the field of political conflict has so much been spent by one man to gain so little in return. Democratic oligarch Michael Bloomberg poured more than a billion dollars into the 2020 election and accomplished next to nothing.

Most of that money funded losing campaigns as well as pro-Biden advertising in states won by Donald Trump. Even if Joe Biden ends up winning, Bloomberg has made a strong case for himself as the election's biggest loser.

After spending more than $1 billion on his failed primary campaign, Bloomberg threw his support behind Joe Biden. He targeted three states Trump won in 2016—Florida, Ohio, and Texas—spending $115 million in an effort to boost Biden's chances of turning them blue.

It didn't work. Trump won all three states by several percentage points and expanded his 2016 margin in Florida, which is where Bloomberg spent the most money, including $36 million in the final two months of the campaign. In a move that might have even cost the Democrats votes, he spent more than $16 million in the state to register convicted felons to vote by paying off their fines and court fees. Perhaps they weren't as receptive to Bloomberg's radical anti-gun messaging as he assumed.

Bloomberg, who has a net worth of almost $50 billion, also spent millions in support of Democratic candidates in state and local races across the country but has little to show for it. He spent $2.6 million, for example, in support of Chrysta Castañeda, the Democratic candidate for railroad commissioner in Texas. She lost.

The historically diminutive oligarch poured a whopping $8.5 million into the North Carolina lieutenant governor's race. The Democratic candidate lost there as well by 3 percentage points, even as incumbent governor Roy Cooper (D., N.C.) cruised to reelection. He spent another $6.4 million backing the three Democratic candidates for the Arizona Corporation Commission, only one of which was on track to win as of Thursday.

Bloomberg also spent millions via his anti-gun super PAC, Everytown for Gun Safety, which was somewhat more successful in terms of the candidates it supported, but not by much. The PAC spent millions, for example, trying to unseat GOP incumbent senators Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) and Thom Tillis (R., N.C.). Ernst has already been declared the winner, while Tillis holds a 1.8 percentage point lead with 94 percent of the vote counted.

In any event, backing a few successful Democratic Senate challengers in states like Colorado and Arizona can hardly be considered a success in terms of the bigger picture. The PAC, whose mission is to elect politicians who support strict gun-control measures, is unlikely to see much legislative action as even the best case for Democrats would leave them with the thinnest of majorities. Gun sales, meanwhile, reached an all-time high in 2020.

Congrats, Mini Mike! You might be one of the smallest human beings on the planet, but you are definitely the biggest loser of the 2020 election.