It wasn't money that fueled Joe Biden's come-from-behind victory in the Democratic primaries. Of the final seven candidates, Biden's spending was dead last.
Outgunned on the airwaves and out-organized on the ground, Mr. Biden’s campaign succeeded in large part because of the overwhelming focus of Democratic voters on beating President Trump and the firm belief among many that Mr. Biden would be the party’s strongest challenger.
For months, Biden advisers had said they just needed enough cash to compete, and all the way through the end of February, Mr. Biden was racing to conserve that cash.
He spent only $13.1 million last month — less than the billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg was spending on average per day. During the same period, Mr. Sanders spent more than twice as much on digital and television ads alone as Mr. Biden spent on his entire campaign operation — his payroll, his ads, his consultants, his events.
In the Democratic race, Mr. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, had spent the most, a record-setting $907 million, including accrued bills. Mr. Bloomberg’s sum — in only 100 days — is more than what President Barack Obama spent on his entire 2012 re-election campaign.
Mr. Bloomberg spent more than double the billionaire Tom Steyer ($338 million), who spent more than double Mr. Sanders ($163 million), who spent more than double Mr. Biden ($76 million).
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts ($111 million) and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. ($91 million), also both had spent more than Mr. Biden by the end of February, records show.