(CNN) — As of October 29, 2020 presidential candidates have spent almost $41 million on TV ads promoting their campaigns.
Most of the candidates have spent about $6 million on TV ads, according to CNN’s David Wright. Steyer alone, a billionaire Democrat, has spent more than $35 million on ads in support of his presidential candidacy.
Steyer, according to his fundraising report filed with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month, had put almost $48 million of his own money toward the campaign as of the end of September. He appears to have plowed the vast majority of that personal investment into TV ads aimed at raising his name ID among Democratic voters.
It does not appear to be working. In CNN’s latest 2020 poll, released earlier this month, Steyer took just 1% of the vote — unchanged from where he stood in CNN polling in September. And August. Steyer qualified for the October debate — the first debate stage he’s made — but didn’t leave much of an impression. Less than 1% of respondents in the CNN poll said they thought he had done the best job in the debate.
Steyer’s massive spending makes two things very clear:
- Money is not determinative in presidential primaries — especially when people don’t respond to the messenger behind all that money.
- The air wars on the Democratic side haven’t even begun yet.
Those are both good things to keep in mind as we consider the state of the race with fewer than 100 days left before the Iowa caucuses.