mike bloomberg

Bloomberg drops out, endorses Biden

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg waits backstage during a rally in Chattanooga on Feb. 12, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Mike Bloomberg, who spent about $8 million on ads and hired more than 40 staffers in Tennessee, is dropping out of the presidential race. The former New York mayor is endorsing Joe Biden, who won Tennessee on Tuesday.

Bloomberg had pledged to dedicate his money and campaign machinery to support the nominee if he didn’t win the nomination.

Biden wins Democratic presidential primary in Tenenssee

Former Vice President Joe Biden rode a wave of momentum from his South Carolina win on Saturday to big victories in Tennessee and other Southern states on Tuesday.

With more than three-quarters of precincts reporting, Biden had 42% of the vote, compared with 25% for Bernie Sanders, 16% for Mike Bloomberg, and 10% for Elizabeth Warren.

Biden won or was leading in 91 of the state’s 95 counties, with is top vote totals coming in Shelby, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Hamilton, and Rutherford counties.

Sanders had his biggest vote total in Knox County, home of the University of Tennessee’s flagship campus in Knoxville, but ended up being edged by Biden by 161 votes. Sanders carried Washington County, where Eastern Tennessee State University is located, and Putnam County, the home of Tennessee Tech, plus Unicoi and Lewis counties.

Bloomberg showed solid results around the state as early votes were tallied, but began to fade as primary-day ballots started flowing in.

Here’s what Democratic candidates have spent in Tennessee before the Super Tuesday primary

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg meets with supporters after speaking at a rally in Chattanooga on Feb. 12, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has made up three-quarters of the more than $10 million Democratic candidates have spent in Tennessee in advance of the Super Tuesday primary.

According to spending tracker Advertising Analytics, Bloomberg has dropped $7.7 million on broadcast televisions, cable, digital, and radio ads. Bernie Sanders has spent about $567,000, the Elizabeth Warren-supporting Persist PAC $446,000, and Joe Biden $179,000.

Among former candidates, Amy Klobuchar had spent about $817,000,  Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer $604,000, and Pete Buttigieg $40,000.

Here’s a breakdown from Advertising Analytics:

Advertiser Broadcast Cable Digital Radio Total
Bloomberg 5,305,465 451,482 1,438,611 474,386 7,669,944
Klobuchar 543,013 225,375  –  – 816,859
Steyer 446,931 42,848 79,705  – 604,057
Sanders 398,681 94,054 74,432  – 567,167
Persist PAC 371,415 74,971  –  – 446,386
Biden 166,141  –  – 12,697 178,838
Buttigieg  –  – 39,926  – 39,926
TOTALS 7,231,646 888,730 1,632,674 487,083 10,323,177

(This post has been updated to reflect Klobuchar dropping out of the race)

Klobuchar, Buttigieg join Bloomberg in campaigning in Tennessee

Mike Bloomberg won’t be the only Democratic candidate campaigning in Tennessee in the run up to Super Tuesday. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is holding a rally and fundraiser in Nashville on Friday and another event in Knoxville on Saturday. And former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is holding a town hall in Nashville on Saturday.

Klobuchar’s downtown Nashville event is at the Bell Tower starting at 4:30 on Friday. The Knoxville event  is scheduled for the Hilton Hotel starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Buttigieg’s town hall is scheduled for the public square outside the Metro Courthouse in Nashville at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Bloomberg is making his fourth visit to Tennessee on Friday. He starts the day with a rally in Minglewood Hall in Memphis at 8:15 a.m., followed by an event at the Old Glory Distilling Co. in Clarksville at 12:45 p.m., and concluding at a Blountville event at the Tri Cities airport at 5:45 p.m.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms campaigning on behalf of former Vice President Joe Biden in Nashville on Friday. Her events are a Women for Biden event with state Sen Brenda Gilmore at the City Club at 9:15 a.m., a healthcare roundtable at Nashville General Hospital at 11:30 a.m. , and a meet-and-greet along with state Rep. Harold Love JR. at Swett’s at 1 p.m.

Biden’s wife, Jill, is scheduled to headline an event at Loflin Yard in Memphis on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., and a fundraiser in NAshville that evening.

Tennessee’s presidential primary is on Tuesday.

(This post has been updated to add Buttigieg’s and Jill Biden’s appearances)