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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Spending on the 2020 presidential primary has officially surpassed the $1 billion mark, with more than half of that total coming from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

Why it matters: It's the most money that has been spent this early on in an election cycle in U.S. history.

For context, experts project that more than $10 billion will be spent on political ads this election season, with more than $3 billion toward the presidential primary specifically.

  • In other words, roughly one-tenth of the total money that will be spent on presidential political ads has already been spent with eight months to go until Election Day.

By the numbers: To no surprise, Democrats have outspent Republicans more than 9-to-1 due to a highly competitive primary contest and because there are two billionaires spending an unprecedented amount on ads.

  • So far, Democrats have spent a whopping $969 million on ads, compared to $67.9 million by Republicans.
  • Bloomberg has spent more than $538 million to date, per Ad Analytics, while Tom Steyer has spent more than $186 million. All other candidates have spent less than $50 million each.

Startling stat: One of the biggest shifts between 2016 and 2020 has been the increase in money invested in Super Tuesday states — mostly as a result of Bloomberg's unorthodox campaign strategy.

  • In total, about $247 million has been spent in Super Tuesday states, up from only $30 million in 2016.

Be smart ... Ad Analytics credits this level of extraordinary spend to three factors:

  1. Better analytics from tech companies, which have now created dashboards and libraries that track political ad spending.
  2. Mike Bloomberg's war chest, which has surpassed more than $500 million in ad spending.
  3. Bernie Sanders' ability to drive grassroots donations, often through online platforms like ActBlue.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

What we know about the victims of the Indianapolis mass shooting

Officials load a body into a vehicle at the site of the mass shooting in Indianapolis. Photo:

Eight people who were killed along with several others who were injured in a Thursday evening shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis have been identified by local law enforcement.

The big picture: The Sikh Coalition said at least four of the eight victims were members of the Indianapolis Sikh community.

Pompeo, wife misused State Dept. resources, federal watchdog finds

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The State Department's independent watchdog found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules when he and his wife asked department employees to perform personal tasks on more than 100 occasions, including picking up their dog and making private dinner reservations.

Why it matters: The report comes as Pompeo pours money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run.