Bloomberg's campaign spending could 'upend every model of every presidential race in history'

Michael Bloomberg.
(Image credit: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn't near the top of the leader board yet, but some folks think he may have a legitimate shot at the Democratic presidential nomination when all is said and done. Their reasoning? His ability to spend.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, John Ellis, a former political columnist for The Boston Globe and the editor of the News Items daily online newsletter, wrote that while Bloomberg might not be the ideal candidate for Democrats on paper, he'll "look like Brad Pitt" come Super Tuesday. Ellis thinks the party will ultimately be too fearful of losing to President Trump to risk pushing someone like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or former Vice President Joe Biden to the nomination, but Bloomberg's cash might convince them he's the right man for the job. "What people don't seem to have grasped is this: Bloomberg is going to spend an astronomical amount of money on this race," he wrote. "Probably at least $1 billion. Possibly even more."

That, Ellis says, would "upend every model of every presidential race in history." If any other candidate gets the nod, Ellis argues President Trump would outspend them two to one, or even three to one, but Bloomberg would likely flip the table and outspend Trump five to one. Along those same lines, New York's Jonathan Chait makes the case that Bloomberg — who's worth $56 billion — could even outspend the entire Republican Party five to one if he wants to.

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Of course, such an argument isn't likely to convince everyone. In fact, it could scare a few people away. Read more at The Washington Post and New York. Tim O'Donnell

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Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.