Michael Bloomberg buys $19 million in ads before even announcing presidential run

Kathryn Krawczyk

Michael Bloomberg is presumably running for president.

The billionaire and former New York City mayor announced earlier this year that he wasn't running for president, and he hasn't said anything to indicate he's changed his mind. And yet his filing with the Federal Election Commission as a 2020 candidate and, now, a $19 million ad buy across the U.S., suggests a reversal is imminent.

Bloomberg has been scooping TV ads across the U.S., spending at least $19 million in more than 25 markets as of Friday afternoon, CNBC reports. They include massive buys in California, Massachusetts, Colorado, and other states that come after the first four contests on the 2020 primary schedule. The biggest hits come in Los Angeles and Chicago, where he's spent more than $700,000, and there's also a large buy in the Florida market that includes President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

Bloomberg missed the deadline to file for the New Hampshire primary, and these ad purchases seem to solidify that he's going to skip the early primary and caucus states altogether. The ads will run from Nov. 25–Dec. 3, and are just a fraction of the $100 million digital campaign Bloomberg is said to embark on in his middleground run for president.

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