• Mike Bloomberg and his billions seem to have bought his way into second place behind Bernie Sanders in a new poll
  • His rise comes at the expense of Joe Biden, who desperately needs to do well on Super Tuesday
  • More massive spending from Bloomberg can be expected

You can deny the strident claim by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, that billionaire Mike Bloomberg -- the eighth richest person in the U.S. with a net worth of $62 billion -- is trying to buy the Democratic presidential nomination with his unprecedented campaign spending. But you can't deny the former New York City mayor has spent more than $400 million dollars of his money on his campaign, which is about 10 times the amount Sanders has had to dole out.

Now, a new poll shows Bloomberg's money seems to have been well-spent.

Bloomberg, 78, who was the last to declare his candidacy on Nov. 24, 2019, has surged into second place as the strongest candidate ahead of former front-runner Joe Biden but still behind Sanders, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national poll released Tuesday.

His massive spending on TV ads and on social media has also allowed Bloomberg to qualify for the next two Democratic debates where people will see him for the first time beside his competition.

A new Marist College poll released Tuesday saw Bloomberg as the choice of 19% of its respondents, giving him the right to appear onstage at Wednesday night’s primetime Democratic presidential nomination debate. Also on Tuesday, Bloomberg qualified for his second debate after a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed him at 14% nationally. This debate is set for next week in Charleston, South Carolina.

Fox News Research revealed the jump in polls coincided with Bloomberg's increased ad spending. As of Feb. 14, his national polls average has hit over 14% as his ad spendings reach $350 million.

After avoiding Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, Bloomberg has aimed his massive campaign spend at doing well on Super Tuesday on March 3 where 14 states hold their primaries. Bloomberg has positioned himself as a moderate in contrast to the hard-left Sanders, whose Medicare-for-all proposal still remains divisive among Democrats.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll taken from Feb. 14 to 17 shows Sanders widening his lead over his peers. It has 25% of registered Democrats and independents saying they'll vote for Sanders, who won last week’s New Hampshire primary and placed second to former mayor Pete Buttigieg in Iowa. The poll shows support for the democratic socialist firebrand increasing five points over the past week, the biggest one-week increase for any of the candidates.

Bloomberg was the choice of 17% of respondents. Biden got the support of 13% respondents. Biden has long led in national polls among Democrats vying to challenge president Donald Trump. His bad defeats at Iowa and New Hampshire means Biden must win or do better than expected on Super Tuesday for him to remain a viable nominee. Bloomberg's entry into the race, along with his massive resources, infinitely makes Biden's job more difficult.

Buttigieg got 11% support; 9% backed Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA; and 5%t said they'd vote for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN.

The poll confirms Sanders’ popularity has risen over the past several weeks, especially among men, African-Americans and rural residents. Sanders leads in polls for Nevada’s nominating caucuses on Saturday.

On the other hand, Bloomberg has boosted his share of support among registered voters in each of the past three weeks.

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg at press conference REUTERS/Chip East