Bloomberg to Spend $80 Million Boosting Democrats in Midterms

Michael Bloomberg / Getty Images
June 20, 2018

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has approved a plan to spend $80 million helping Democrats in their efforts to flip the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.

Bloomberg is a political independent but holds liberal stances on issues like climate change, gun control and immigration, and he spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He was a Democrat before first running for mayor in 2001, then became a Republican, was re-elected in 2005, left the party to become an independent, and was re-elected once more in 2009.

Bloomberg told the New York Times Republicans had "failed" in their opportunity to show they could "govern responsibly."

"I’ve never thought that the public is well-served when one party is entirely out of power, and I think the past year and half has been evidence of that," Bloomberg said.

The New York Times reports Bloomberg will focus his money in at least a dozen congressional races in 2018, focusing on more moderate, suburban areas where President Donald Trump is unpopular:

While Mr. Bloomberg has not chosen his list of targeted races yet, he is unlikely to get involved in rural, conservative-leaning districts where his views on guns and other issues could stir an uproar, according to people briefed on his plans, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

The new alliance between Mr. Bloomberg, 76, and congressional Democrats marks a fresh stage in the former mayor’s political evolution. After moving freely between elite circles in both parties for years, Mr. Bloomberg is now poised to become one of the Democrats’ most important benefactors: His spending on House campaigns appears likely to exceed the involvement of donors like Sheldon Adelson, the Republican casino billionaire who recently donated $30 million to a "super PAC" aligned with Speaker Paul D. Ryan, and Tom Steyer, the liberal hedge-fund investor spending tens of millions of dollars on voter-turnout programs and television ads demanding Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

Former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee executive director Howard Wolfson will oversee Bloomberg's spending efforts.

He hasn't ruled out a possible White House run in 2020, telling CBS in April the odds of him mounting a candidacy were "not very high."