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Mike Bloomberg takes different approach to funding Democrats this year

The billionaire former presidential candidate plans to spend more than $60 million on this year’s elections

Mike Bloomberg in Miami in 2020. (Brynn Anderson/AP)

Top Democratic donor Mike Bloomberg, a billionaire former candidate for president, plans to spend more than $60 million on this year’s elections, according to his advisers, opting for a lower public profile than he has taken in recent years.

Much of his spending, including about $11 million in donations to House Majority PAC, the primary outside group supporting Democrats in the battle for control of the House, has not yet been publicly disclosed, while more than $15 million has been pushed through Democratic-aligned groups such as Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood and the League of Conservation Voters, the advisers said.

“I expect that once again Mike Bloomberg will the be largest Democratic donor,” Bloomberg political strategist Howard Wolfson said. “We are facing, as a country, multiple threats in multiple areas — federal, state and local — and we are attempting to be helpful in as many places as possible.”

Wolfson said Bloomberg, 80, who served as mayor of New York after becoming a billionaire through his eponymous financial information and media company, has also made donations of more than $1 million to Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Colorado. He further invested in the effort to defeat an amendment to the Kansas Constitution that would have banned abortion in the state this summer.

Everytown for Gun Safety, a group largely funded by Bloomberg with the aim of increasing firearm regulation, has spent an additional $5 million this cycle, including more than $1 million in advertising against each of the Republican Senate candidates in the Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin elections, according to the Federal Election Commission.

“House Majority PAC is thankful for Mike Bloomberg’s continued support to our organization this cycle, in addition to his previous contributions, as we work to achieve our shared goal of securing a Democratic House Majority and protecting American democracy,” House Majority PAC Executive Director Abby Curran Horrell said in a statement.

Democratic groups have struggled this cycle to keep pace with Republican peers as GOP billionaires have opened their wallets with historic outlays. Contributions of $1 million or more, from groups or major individual donors, accounted for $48.2 million, or about 49 percent, of the fundraising for House Majority PAC through the end of August.

By contrast, contributions of $1 million or more accounted for $152 million, or about 80 percent, of revenue for the Republican counterpart, the Congressional Leadership Fund, through Sept. 12, according to FEC records.

The approach Bloomberg has taken this year contrasts with the high-profile splash he made in the 2020 and 2018 cycles, when his presidential ambitions played a role in his approach. A group he funded, Independence USA, spent nearly $57 million on ads in 2018, mostly for targeted House races, according to federal records.

In the final days of that campaign, Bloomberg dropped an additional $5 million on last-minute ads, including a two-minute spot with him directly addressing the camera that ran nationally the Sunday before the election alongside CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

Bloomberg returned to center stage during the 2020 Democratic primaries when he launched a presidential campaign that spent $1.1 billion in a matter of months. After a poor debate performance in Nevada and the late surge of support for fellow Democratic contender Joe Biden, Bloomberg ended his campaign and endorsed Biden.

Bloomberg subsequently transferred $18 million to the Democratic National Committee to help Biden in the general election. He later spent about $100 million in Florida in an effort partially designed to draw Republican resources from other states. Republican Donald Trump won the state by more than three percentage points.

Bloomberg is worth nearly $77 billion, making him the 12th-richest person in the world, according to Forbes’s ranking of wealthy individuals. The magazine reported his net worth at about $56 billion in 2019, before his presidential campaign.

The 2022 Midterm Elections

Georgia runoff election: Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D) won re-election in the Georgia Senate runoff, defeating Republican challenger Herschel Walker and giving Democrats a 51st seat in the Senate for the 118th Congress. Get live updates here and runoff results by county.

Divided government: Republicans narrowly won back control of the House, while Democrats will keep control of the Senate, creating a split Congress.

What the results mean for 2024: A Republican Party red wave seems to be a ripple after Republicans fell short in the Senate and narrowly won control in the House. Donald Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign shortly after the midterms. Here are the top 10 2024 presidential candidates for the Republicans and Democrats.