Bloomberg Dominates Trump Rather Than The Democrats
By Jane Cameron
Michael Bloomberg’s astronomical spending may not be intended to win the Democratic nomination, but rather to derail President Trump’s campaign without financial limitations.
A huge sum of more than a quarter billion dollars has been spent by Bloomberg’s campaign since announcing his run in November. This sum is in large part due to Bloomberg’s willingness to use his own wealth as a tool. Bloomberg entered the race with a strategy to end Trump’s presidency and pledged to spend at least $100 million on ads that criticize the president.
“Our first month’s filing represents a down payment and commitment in all 50 states to defeat Donald Trump, and it shows we have the resources and plan necessary to take him on,” said Kevin Sheekey, who is Bloomberg’s campaign advisor.
Bloomberg’s campaign has been specifically focused on campaigning against Trump rather than the other nominees. Upon entering the race Bloomberg stated the impetus behind his running was that he believed there were no candidates in the primary who demonstrated an ability to defeat Trump. Despite not agreeing with other nominees’ views, he has committed himself to helping to fund their campaigns if he does not achieve the nomination. Additionally, he has stated he will not run negative ads about any of the Democrats.
The emphasis on taking on the Republican Party rather than only promoting himself makes him different than the other candidates. The other nominees have openly criticized one another and have stayed away from discussing concessions. His campaign strategy illustrates that he is looking holistically at the election, and defeating Trump is a bigger priority to him than who is chosen as the Democratic nominee.
Bloomberg’s candidacy provides him with a platform that focuses attention on him for his remarks against Trump and additionally puts no restrictions on his spending. A PAC contribution is limited to $5,000 per individual. While a Super PAC may accept unlimited funds, it cannot contribute directly to a candidate or coordinate with them. Furthermore, dark-money organizations cannot be primarily focused on candidate election related activities. This means individuals cannot freely donate any amount of their wealth to any one candidate. Moreover, their donations do not allow them to participate in the campaign with their opinions and strategies. These limitations left Bloomberg with only one option if he wished to target Trump with unlimited resources—he would have to enter the race as a candidate.
Despite Bloomberg's late entry into the race, he has climbed the polls at a rapid rate with his frequent ads and willingness to contribute a billion dollars of his fortune. His ability to spend big means he can air hundreds of multimedia messages each week. Also, he can create more ads that target certain demographics he is hoping to win over. Trump parallels Bloomberg with his vast spending as well. While Bloomberg contributes his wealth, Trump has a nine-figure campaign budget under his belt. These two have not allowed money to be a barrier to their victories and have followed through with extravagant spending, such as each purchasing $10 million dollar ads to air during the Super Bowl. Their spending has been reflected in their rising poll numbers, and their expenditures bring up the question of whether money can buy elections.
Jane Cameron is a freshman majoring in journalism and mass communication, from Fairfield County, Connecticut.
Note: The GW College Democrats News & Blog Committee’s mission is to highlight, empower, and facilitate the political expression of its members. As such, the views expressed in this article are based on the opinions of its author, and do not necessarily represent the views of the whole of GW College Democrats, its executive board, or its senior deputy board.