My previous column discussing the state of political advertising was published on February 24, 2020. The following day, former Vice President Joe Biden—according to an aggregate of political betting markets—had a 9% chance of being the Democratic nominee, as compared to a 52.8% chance for Senator Bernie Sanders. At the time, one of the most widely discussed topics also was the unprecedented level of spending by self-funded Democratic presidential candidates Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer. When it was all said and done, Bloomberg would spend $1.02 billion on his 104 day presidential campaign, including nearly $744 million on media (approximately $123 million of which went to online advertising). Tom Steyer, who suspended his campaign on February 29th, was another heavy spender, dropping $343.9 million, including $269 million on media (more than $16 million of which was spent online). Also, at this point, in late February, the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United Stood stood at less than 25, and political advertising for the 2020 cycle was expected to reach $6 billion.
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