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Meg Whitman Trumps Michael Bloomberg On Absurd, Neo-Gilded Age Campaign Spending

Meg commandeers the airwaves
TV ads

Whitman: $57 million


Bloomberg: $34 million

Whitman had lower name identification than the incumbent mayor, so you'd expect her spend more introducing herself (and demonizing Steve Poizner). But $57 million? Mind-boggling.

Radio
Whitman: $5.4 million
Bloomberg: $290,000

This is still crazy, but it makes sense on at least one level: Californians are more likely to listen to drive-time radio, while New Yorkers are more likely to read newspapers on the subway. Consider:

Print ads

Bloomberg: $2 million

Whitman: $129,000


And there are some other areas where Bloomberg outspent Whitman by a country mile.

Office costs

Bloomberg: $12 million

Whitman: $1.8 million

Rents must be a lot higher in Manhattan than in Cupertino. Apparently the same goes for staplers, paper clips, signature stamps, 3-hole punches, etc.

Polling
Bloomberg: $3.4 million
Whitman: $1.3 million

Each faced lightweight opponents, but Bloomberg seems to have been more paranoid about Comptroller William Thompson than Whitman was about Poizner. And with good reason: Thompson almost won.

Campaign literature and mailings
Bloomberg: $22 million
Whitman: $7.6 million

Look for Whitman to pull closer in the last few weeks of the campaign.

Lawyers and accountants
Bloomberg: $3.7 million
Whitman: $700,000

New York lawyers are expensive.

Consultants
Bloomberg: $11.2 million
Whitman: $10.2 million

Whitman will end up crushing Bloomberg on this line item. After this campaign, Mike Murphy can retire to a private island with a lifetime supply of blow, interrupting his orgies only for the occasional cable news hit.

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