as seen on TV
December 30, 2019

Michael Bloomberg's billionaire status is impossible to hide.

The former New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate may have entered the 2020 race months late, but he's more than making up for it with his excessive ad spending. Bloomberg's campaign is projected to spend upwards of $400 million by March, beating out what former President Barack Obama spent on his entire 2012 reelection bid, The New York Times reports via data from Advertising Analytics.

Bloomberg has barely been running for president for a month, and yet has already spent $128 million on TV ads and another $18 million for ads on Google and Facebook. That puts him on track to hit $400 million by the Super Tuesday primaries early next year — Bloomberg is focusing on those contests instead of the first four primaries and caucuses because of how late he entered the race. $400 million is just about how much Obama spent throughout his entire general election campaign in 2012. Bloomberg's ad spending also trumps President Trump's, at least on Google and YouTube, where he's spent more in the past month on ads than Trump has all year.

All that money isn't just pushing a universal message, either. As the Times notes, Bloomberg's campaign said it "produced 160 versions of its ads on social media alone, reaching 15.5 million people in the first two weeks of December." One ad features a man from Pennsylvania noting how Trump is focusing on the state while other Democrats are apparently ignoring it, while others focus on similar swing states such as Wisconsin.

Bloomberg has yet to see a major poll bump from his spending spree, so we'll just have to wait and see if money really can buy an election. Kathryn Krawczyk

December 17, 2019

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already gotten his 2020 ads in front of a majority of voters, a new poll has found.

In a Suffolk University/USA Today poll released Tuesday, 58 percent of registered voters said they've seen Bloomberg's ads, while 40 percent said they haven't.

Since officially jumping into the 2020 Democratic primary in late November, Bloomberg has been hitting voters with an onslaught of advertising, spending more than $100 million on TV ads, The New York Times reports. In about a one-week period in late November and early December, FiveThirtyEight reports two of his ads ran 19,006 times, while the ads of every other Democratic candidate combined aired only 10,337 times.

"In fact, in just over a week, Bloomberg spent more than one-third of what the rest of the Democratic field has spent all year long," FiveThirtyEight reported.

Among the voters in this poll who saw Bloomberg's ads, the majority, 58 percent, said they were either not very convincing or not convincing at all. Still, Bloomberg did come in fifth place among Democratic primary voters in this poll with six percent support, behind former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The Suffolk University/ USA Today poll was conducted by speaking to 1,000 voters nationwide over the phone from Dec. 10–14. The margin of error is three percentage points. Read the full results at Suffolk University. Brendan Morrow

August 15, 2019

President Trump on Thursday spoke glowingly about the idea of a Senate run by his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and sounded quite like a TV critic in the process.

Trump in a New Hampshire radio interview said that Lewandowski would be "fantastic" in the Senate, with these comments coming amid reports of Republican opposition to his potential bid. Were Lewandowski to run in 2020, he would be going up against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

"He's got great energy," Trump said of Lewandowski, who served as his campaign manager until June 2016. "He's terrific on television, you've seen. He's a really good guy. I like him a lot. I like him. I like his family. I like everything about him."

Trump stopped short of offering an official endorsement for Lewandowski, who during the 2016 campaign was charged with simple battery after a Breitbart reporter accused him of forcefully grabbing her; the charges were later dropped. Trump on Thursday said he's unsure if Lewandowski has made the decision to run, but he argued that he'd be a "great senator" and "tough to beat."

Lewandowski's potential Senate campaign, though, is drawing some serious concern from Republicans in New Hampshire, who strongly disagree with Trump's assessment that he'd give Shaheen a tough fight. "It makes me extremely nervous," a Republican adviser told The Daily Beast recently, with former New Hampshire Attorney General Tom Rath also saying of Lewandowski, "I think his strongest supporter is the person who he looks at in the mirror."

Ahead of a Trump rally in New Hampshire, Politico reports that Republicans in the state fear the president will tout Lewandowski's possible Senate run, with "the state GOP establishment in near open revolt" and Gov. Chris Sununu (R) having "relayed concerns" about Lewandowski to the party's leadership. But based on Trump's comments, it sounds like for Lewandowski, an official endorsement could be just one Fox News appearance away. Brendan Morrow

May 14, 2018

President Trump understands the importance of a good TV appearance, and he wants his legal team up to par.

Trump complains in private that he needs better "TV lawyers" to represent him on cable news shows, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Based on accounts from 22 sources — White House and Justice Department officials, Trump "confidants" and attorneys — Trump is frustrated with the ongoing probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and aides are "resigned to just buckle up" and survive the storm, the Post reports. The investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian meddling in the 2016 election has created tension between the president and his legal team, which has led to the departure of several of the president's attorneys.

Rudy Giuliani, who has been Trump's attorney since last month, has recently appeared on TV to defend the president — though he complicated things by revealing details about the Stormy Daniels scandal. Trump reportedly wants a more frequent and full-throated defense system on network television in order to combat the "witch hunt" that he believes is undermining his "legitimacy" as president. Even though Giuliani's TV antics have stressed out White House staffers like Chief of Staff John Kelly, Trump and Giuliani continue to plan media appearances in private. Read more at The Washington Post. Summer Meza

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