Bloomberg’s Money Can Buy Influence, But Can't Guarantee Success

Laura Carno is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, and is the author of Government Ruins Nearly Everything.

Not to be lost in the rhetorical bloodbath that was Bloomberg’s first Presidential primary debate appearance, the former Mayor of New York City mentioned that among his philanthropic gifts were donations to the Democratic party. It’s sad that he had to defend his wealth by saying that he gives it away, but the idea that he gave money to the Democratic party infrastructure deserves further examination. 


Luckily, all of those transactions are tracked. Just looking at the money Bloomberg has personally donated to federally reported organizations in 2019 and 2020, it certainly looks like he wanted Democratic organizations to think of him fondly. Among the donations:

  • $5 million to Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight
  • $10 million to the House Majority PAC
  • Donations to 49 state Democratic Party organizations totaling over $6 million
  • $800,000 to the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, which then gives to State party organizations
  • Three donations on November 19th to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), totaling $319,500

In addition, Bloomberg has donated $70 million to cities he’s campaigning in. He’s a businessman, so what did Bloomberg expect for his investment?

In January, the DNC tweaked the rules candidates must abide by to get on the debate stage, including eliminating the requirement for individual donors, which typically demonstrates the level of grassroots support a candidate has. But Bloomberg doesn’t have grassroots support. He’s self-funding his campaign.


With a reported net worth of $62 billion, Bloomberg is likely used to having money solve all problems. His spending is eclipsing typical campaigns this early in the primary including nearly $400 million in ads so far and over 2,400 campaign staff hired across the country,

Even with all that money, Bloomberg was unprepared, and he underperformed in his first debate. Significantly. Even CNN panned his appearance. 

Maybe this is a problem that his significant money can’t solve.

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