Mike Bloomberg is self funding his campaign and with a personal fortune of $65 billion. His campaign spending could be essentially limitless. With this amount of money he could radically outspend Trump (who only spent 0.3 billion on his 2016 campaign) and seriously upset the campaign ad market prices thanks to the competitive bidding process.

Under current law, losing candidates are allowed to donate "unlimited transfers to a local, state, or national political party committee." Does this mean that if the DNC nominates another candidate, Bloomberg could donate his billions directly to the DNC to help Biden or Bernie defeat Trump? Or is he limited by campaign finance law to only donate the maximum of $2800? Does this change if he drops out, or does he technically still have to be running to avoid campaign finance law violations?

Update: Bloomberg has dropped out. Previously he has pledged to pay for his nearly 500 staffers to continue working through November to support whoever the DNC nominates. They will be "independent" so this doesn't violate campaign finance law.

  • Not my downvote, but he clearly could fund [Super]PACs etc. Whether he'd be motivated to do so when he's not on the ticket is a different matter... Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 20:16
  • To make the question more clear, are you including or excluding SuperPACs? Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 20:37
  • @Fizz As far as I understand SuperPac donations are unlimited anyway, so my question is about direct campaign funding. Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 20:39
  • 1
    Why do you expect the [direct contribution] law to have some loophole for Bloomberg (as a donor) then? There's no loophole for "members of the (same) party" as far as I can tell. Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 20:40
  • 2
    @Fizz "Any presidential loser with money left in the bank can use it for a future bid for office, donate it to a charity or political party, or contribute it to another candidate." - mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/… Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


Bloomberg can donate some contributions from other people to another campaign or to charity (there's some rules there). The FEC requires self-funding to be reported

When candidates use their personal funds for campaign purposes, they are making contributions to their campaigns. Unlike other contributions, these candidate contributions are not subject to any limits. They must, however, be reported.

There's another rule here about contributions to a primary

General Election Refunds

If you donated more than $2,700 to a presidential candidate who dropped out of the race before the general election, you can anticipate a refund. According to the FEC rules, official candidate committees must return any money contributed towards the general election if they do not win the primaries. Since an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 for each election, primary and general, any more than $2,700 would have been allocated to the general.

In other words, after Bloomberg's campaign has been wound down, Bloomberg will probably get some of whatever is left.

Beyond that, Bloomberg can only donate the personal max or start a Super PAC like everyone else.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .