RALEIGH – In the 14th century, Mansa Musa, the Muslim west African king of Mali who was perhaps the wealthiest king ever, made a pilgrimage to Mecca. His caravan was so large, their supplies of goods and gold so plentiful, that the sudden infusion of gold caused prices to spike and the economy to collapse in Egypt.
It is a story one might be reminded of by the current state 21st century politics, specifically the presidential campaign of Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg, as one of the ten richest individuals in the world, is running for president on a self-funded campaign, and his ad spending has been so high, that it’s actually inflated advertising rates for everyone else by more than 20 percent.
From the Charlotte Observer:
“[…] Advertising Analytics, which tracks campaign media spending, says the billionaire former New York mayor has spent $7.7 million on TV advertising in the state — and driven up the cost by 23%. Politico reported that’s in line with what’s happening nationwide. […]
“Amid this huge spending spike, North Carolina broadcasters are clearly responding like rational market actors by raising rates for all candidates when Bloomberg spends,” John Link, a company vice president, said in the report.
“In fact, higher spending tends to lead to higher rates statewide,” he added. “(M)arket rates rose a dollar for every $1,100 that Bloomberg spent. Considering he spent a total of $7M, this is not insignificant.”
Unlike virtually every other Democratic candidate, Bloomberg bypassed Iowa, New Hampshire and other early states to focus on North Carolina’s March 3 primary and 15 other Super Tuesday contests. […]”
So every time you hear, see, or somehow sense a Bloomberg ad, imagine a ‘cha-ching’ sound. While spending about $7 million in North Carolina, the former NYC mayor has already smashed through self-financing records, spending more than $300 million nationwide ALREADY.
He notably skipped the early caucus and primary states in what looks like a smart move considering the disaster Democrats have had in Iowa thus far. Instead he’s focused on Super Tuesday states and, you guessed it, North Carolina. The Bloomberg campaign has a headquarters in Charlotte, the first one they established, with dozens of paid staff.
Betwen Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, another Democratic billionaire running for president who is focused on our state, North Carolina’s airwaves will be saturated. Actually, it looks as if political spending in the state will bust through all records in short order.
Read more about the political ad spending in North Carolina here.