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One candidate dominates in TV ad buys ahead of Michigan's presidential primary

Bloomberg Ad
Bloomberg 2020

Michigan’s presidential primaryis just under two months away, but millions of dollars have already been spent on campaign ads.

It's safe to say Michiganders have gotten used to hearing “I’m Mike Bloomberg, and I approve this message” coming from their television. 

The billionaire businessman and former New York City mayor has flooded Michigan’s airwaves with his campaign commercials.

Simon Schuster is the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN). By his count, Bloomberg has spent roughly $4.8 million on TV ads in Michigan.  

Other candidates have also purchased TV time in Michigan. For example, billionaire Tom Steyer has spent nearly $1 million, according to records checked by MCFN.

But no one is spending like Michael Bloomberg.  

Bloomberg’s personal wealth is estimated at nearly $60 billion. Since launching his campaign late last year, he’s spent hundreds of millions of dollars on his campaign. Appearing on CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Bloomberg said he’s spending his money “to get rid of Donald Trump.”

But MCFN’s Simon Schuster wonders about the effect on Michigan’s presidential primary.

“If Michael Bloomberg is able to keep up this pace of advertising, I would be wary to see what’s going to happen as things approach March. Especially with a candidate field as fluid and as wide as this one,” says Schuster.

With major primaries and caucuses scheduled between now and the March 10th primary, the number of candidates left to pay for campaign ads could diminish quickly. Several candidates have already dropped out, but their names will still appear on the primary ballot. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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