Issues & Insights
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Democratic Fools And Their Money

I&I Editorial

After being trounced on Super Tuesday, Michael Bloomberg announced that he was “suspending” his campaign. He joins fellow billionaire Tom Steyer in the quitters’ camp.

It makes you wonder how these two succeeded in business when they are so utterly incompetent at selling themselves or their ideas. It also underscores how shrewd billionaire Donald Trump was in 2016.

Bloomberg built his entire strategy on winning big on Super Tuesday. His pitch to voters – in a series of endlessly repeated ads – was his competency. He was a self-made billionaire, he got things done, he was a proven leader, he was best suited to beat Trump.

Yet all Bloomberg had to show for his hundreds of millions was a win in American Samoa.

Even someone as arrogant as Bloomberg could not ignore how disastrous his plan turned out to be. Think about it: Bloomberg spent $464 million of his own money to win a grand total of 64 delegates. That works out to $7.2 million per delegate.

Another way to look at it: Bloomberg spent nearly $300 for each vote he got. That’s enough to buy every one of his supporters a Luger 9 mm pistol, or almost 4,000 rounds of AR-15 ammo.

Bloomberg hasn’t done much better with the money he’s plowed into other candidates.

From 2010 to 2014, he dropped $21.4 million on losing elections. He spent another $16 million over those years to push gun control and climate change solutions – and ended up with nothing to show for it. In fact, Colorado voters recalled two gun-control candidates Bloomberg backed in 2013.

In 2018, Bloomberg spent $20 million on the Senate Majority PAC to help Democrats make gains in the Senate. They lost seats.

But as bad as Bloomberg has been with his money, it doesn’t hold a candle to fellow liberal billionaire Tom Steyer.

Before he dropped out of the presidential race at the end of February, climate change alarmist Steyer had poured $253 million into his campaign.

For that, he won no delegates at all – zip, zero, nada. In fact, Steyer ended up spending almost $1,300 for each vote he managed to secure, enough to buy each of them 21.5 tons of bituminous coal.

Steyer also has a worse record than Bloomberg when it comes to getting his favorite candidates into office.

In 2016, Steyer and his NextGen Climate Action super PAC spent $100 million – Steyer himself spent more than any other individual that year – only to lose eight out his 14 races. That included Hillary Clinton’s White House bid and Senate races in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, Florida and Wisconsin.

Steyer did even worse in 2014, when he spent $74 million and lost 70% of his races. As the Washington Free Beacon noted, in all but one of those, the Republican candidates gained ground after his NextGen started running ads.

This, by the way, is in sharp contrast to another billionaire businessman named Donald Trump. Unlike Bloomberg and Steyer, Trump was extraordinarily careful with his campaign money. He also had a solid plan to win, a message that actually resonated with voters, and carried it out with great discipline.

In fact, at this point in his campaign for the nomination in 2016, Trump had spent just $33 million – less than any of his Republican opponents. That’s half of what Biden has so far spent, and a third of the cash Sen. Bernie Sanders has burned through.

We can think of no better endorsement of Trump than the fact that Bloomberg and Steyer would be the sort of businessmen giving advice and counsel in a Joe Biden administration.

— Written by John Merline

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Bloomberg’s strategy and reason for running revolved around all the moderate candidates especially Biden being weak. And to be fair up until 5 days ago people were busy writing Biden’s political obituary. In the space of 4 days that all changed. Biden is no longer weak and Bloomberg no longer has any reason to run. But if Biden hadn’t surged we’d be talking about how Bloomberg’s strategy was working now.

    • Biden’s political obituary was a fantasy in the MSM. Biden was I believe 8 delegates behind Bernie before Super Tuesday. Prospects were good for Bernie but Amy and Pete quit and Warren remained and that gave Biden enough advantage to pass Bernie. But it is still close.

      Bloomberg out spent his opponents 10 to 1 in NY mayoral elections and it worked. It even worked enough to overcame term limit laws and win a third term. In this national race he was simply clueless. He was like an 8 year old given a million dollars and told to invest in the stock market.

  • Your “AR-15 ammo” quip reveals you probably shouldn’t quip about things you know little about.

  • Ironically Democrats poor reputation for spending money effectively is no better proved than in elections. Hillary outspent Trump by almost 2 to 1 and lost by electoral landslide.

  • $300 divided by 4,000 AR15 rounds is 7.5 cents a round. Where do you buy your ammunition?

  • Winning a Democratic nomination by spending a lot of personal money is challenging. Democrats are likely to be resistant to the existence of big money in politics, so the fact that Bloomberg spent so much was a negative for many potential primary voters.

    The record of people spending large amounts of personal money on political campaigns for federal offices is mixed; the majority of self-funded campaigns are not successful. But the successes that have happened are mostly on the Republican side.

    Source: They have statistics for every federal election in this millennium.

  • The Democrats really need to figure out how to get halfway decent people to run for President.

    Four years ago, the Republicans came up with some pretty good candidates. I would have been happy with Rubio, Cruz, maybe even Jeb or Rick Perry. And I think even the ones I don’t remember weren’t as absolutely abysmal as today’s crop of Democrats.

    So now we have half-dead Biden, ultra-socialist Sanders, screaming banshee Warren, boring Pete, etc. Nobody I would feel comfortable voting for even if I believed in their politics.

    Trump has his flaws but he is awesomely talented at winning, and he works hard to keep his promises in a way no other candidate has since Reagan. The way he uses humor is masterful. The way the Democrats don’t use humor is shameful. It really helps to be in showbiz if you want to succeed as President. Why is it that showbiz is dominated by Democrats and yet no showbiz figures have tried a run?

    • The Democrats have Barack Obama to thank for the state of their field. During the two Obama terms, the Democrats lost thousands of governorships, state legislators, and mayoral positions. The Democratic party that emerged in 2016 was a shadow of its former self.

      This had distinct implications: A far weaker field to draw from was just part of the problem. In addition, you had fewer staffers, campaign workers, and fund raisers. It’s not an accident, then, that the most established candidates are the ones who are making it farther into the process.

      Mike Bloomberg’s campaign exacerbated the situation. By hiring campaign staff late last year to staff a nation-wide run, and paying them through November, he tried to corner the market on talent in terms of field office managers, state-level fund-raisers, etc. While he might try to redirect some of them to working for his preferred candidate (presumably Biden), that’s NOT the same thing as having these people actually work FOR Biden.

    • Hmm. There has been talk of Oprah running. I have no idea if she is interested. Other than that, most of the entertainment world is full of people good at their craft, but maybe not so informed about actual policy issues.
      I work at a performing arts school, and live with a singer. These types of people are very talented, smart, and educated in their own field, but are woefully lacking in basic common sense and rationality. I don’t mean that as an insult; we all have our strengths and weaknesses.
      There are exceptions, of course, like Trump and Reagan. And Boothe, I suppose- hewas an actor who made a huge political difference…

  • Too many Leftists think they can win by throwing money at a problem. Money can help – if it’s carefully targeted.
    Trump proved that he knows the value of a buck. Yes, he owns fancy, gold-festooned digs – but, the purpose of them is to send a message, not because he gets all excited about the lavishness of his surrounding.
    I knew he was going to be different when he looked at the price of Air Force One, and said – wait a minute, some of these costs are out of line. He persuaded the manufacturer to come in with a much better price.

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