In a short-lived presidential campaign that will likely be remembered more for its economic output than any potential political input, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg coughed up at least $241 for each vote that went his way in the Super Tuesday Democratic primary contests.
Crunching the numbers another way, each of the delegates he won cost him more than $7.7 million.
The bottom line for the billionaire? He spent the night battling with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for a distant third place behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Bloomberg pulled the plug on his 101-day campaign on Wednesday and endorsed Biden.
Several national outlets peg the billionaire’s nine-figure campaign expenditures as topping $500 million, but he reported a paltry $408,969,377.76 in operating expenses in his most recent Federal Election Commission spending report, which covers the time since he entered the race in late November through the end of January.
That, of course, doesn’t include the barrage of cash he pumped into his campaign in the critical weeks of February and first few days of March leading up to Tuesday’s 14 primary contests.
As of Wednesday evening, with some Super Tuesday states still tallying up vote and delegate totals — most significantly California — Bloomberg had netted 1,696,000 votes nationwide, according to figures compiled by NPR.
And the Associated Press put his delegate count at 53.
That comes out to about $241.14 spent by Bloomberg per vote — or $7,716,403.35 for each of the 53 delegates he won — just counting the money he spent through January.
But once those vote totals are finalized and updated campaign reports are submitted — even when rounding up Bloomberg’s campaign cash or rounding down his vote total — it’s likely Bloomberg spent closer to $300 per vote and more than $9 million per delegate.
That’s makes fellow billionaire and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s 2018 election run look like a bargain, in what was the most costly gubernatorial contest in U.S. history.
Pritzker ponied up almost $172 million of his own money, or about $72.90 per vote.
And, of course, unlike Bloomberg, Pritzker won.