PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign makes no apology for its spending in Pennsylvania.
“It’s important to get the message out to as many people in Pennsylvania as possible, to know that there’s an alternative to what they have typically seen in the race so far,” Mustafa Rashed, PA communications director for Bloomberg, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
So far, the Bloomberg campaign has spent a record $10 million on television and radio in the state’s six media markets, according to Advertising Analytics, the ad-tracking firm.
Bloomberg’s closest competitor is President Donald Trump, who has spent $401,000 in the state.
“It’s an incredible amount of money,” says Andrew Conte, the director of the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University. “It’s an overwhelming amount of money, especially when you look at politics in Pennsylvania.”
Bloomberg is skipping the first four key states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, focusing instead on winning states like Pennsylvania in the April 28 Democratic primary.
“It’s vital,” said Rashed. “It’s absolutely important, which is why Mayor Bloomberg is committed to whatever resources that are necessary here in Pennsylvania.”
Polls suggest that Bloomberg’s strategy is working.
Both the Quinnipiac Poll and the Morning Consult Poll have Bloomberg moving up to fourth place nationally, behind Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.
DELANO: “Is this a question of a billionaire being able to buy an election?”
RASHED: “It’s not for sale, Jon. It’s for the voters to hear the message.”
“Bloomberg has put a bull’s eye on Pennsylvania,” said Conte, “and is serious about spending money to get on the ballot here and rise to the top of the ballot.”
It’s hard to know at this stage whether Bloomberg’s strategy will work, but he’s certainly going to spend a lot more money here in Pennsylvania before the April primary is over.