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October 16, 2019

Tom Steyer, your billionaire is showing.

So far in the 2020 campaign he once promised not to enter, Steyer has contributed $47 million to his own cause. But when you stack that up against just how many words the mega-rich philanthropist got into Tuesday night's Democratic primary debate, it doesn't really go a long way.

Steyer ranked dead last when it came to speaking time on Tuesday, owning just 7 minutes and 12 seconds, or 1,300 words, of the conversation. Divided by the money he put into his campaign, that's $37,000 per word, The Wall Street Journal's analysis shows.

Of course, Steyer's actual money has largely gone into TV ads, and far more so than any of his closest rivals. He's run a hefty 53,310 ads on national and broadcast television, while his advertising runner-up, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, has run 1,672.

Yet in the polls, Steyer is still pretty much at the bottom of the pack. He's averaging a 1.4 percent showing across Democratic primary surveys, per RealClearPolitics, meaning he's spent about $33.6 million on each percentage point he pulled from his fellow contenders. Kathryn Krawczyk

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