The Billionaire Winners And Losers Of The 2020 Presidential Election

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Over the weekend Joe Biden was named America’s next commander-in-chief, but he wasn’t the only winner of the presidential election. Since the 2020 cycle began, more than 250 billionaires and their spouses opened up their sizable wallets to support Biden or Donald Trump. Some spent thousands, millions—or even hundreds of millions of dollars—wisely. Others, not so much.

There are obvious winners (notably Biden’s biggest backers) and obvious losers (like the billionaire 45th president and his donors). Then there are billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, who committed huge sums of money to help get Biden elected but also frittered away hoards of cash on their own failed presidential campaigns. Steyer spent $342 million on his White House bid; Bloomberg spent more than $1.1 billion.

Here are some of the most notable billionaire winners and losers of the 2020 presidential election:

Winners

Dustin Moskovitz: Mark Zuckerberg’s college roommate, the Facebook and Asana cofounder spent big to fight Trump. He gave more than $800,000 to Biden and made a $20 million-plus donation to Future Forward, a super-PAC that shelled out $100 million to fund a last-minute TV ad blitz attacking Trump. “It’s raining in San Francisco, which is actually just perfect,” Moskovitz tweeted the day after Biden was named the victor. “5 star weekend.”

Reid Hoffman: The LinkedIn cofounder was one of Biden’s top fundraisers, helping the former vice president haul in record sums for his campaign. Hoffman himself gave more than $12 million this cycle, including at least $500,000 to Biden and $1.5 million to Unite The Country, a pro-Biden super-PAC. He told Axios in the days before the election that he would put $1 million into a digital ad campaign urging voters to be patient as votes are counted. Ahead of the 2016 election, Hoffman trolled Trump with his own Cards Against Humanity-style game called “Trumped Up Cards.”

Jim Simons: He and his wife Marilyn donated more than $20 million to federal political causes this cycle, including $978,400 to the Biden Action Fund and $4 million to Priorities USA Action, a pro-Biden super-PAC. He also supported failed Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper, who won one of Colorado’s U.S. Senate seats on election night. A former math professor, Simons founded quantitative hedge fund Renaissance Technologies in 1982. The firm’s former co-CEO, Robert Mercer, was one Trump’s biggest backers in 2016.

Reed Hastings & Patty Quillin: The Netflix cofounder and co-CEO and his wife, Patty Quillin, reportedly co-hosted a fundraiser for Pete Buttigieg in December 2019 but ended up giving at least $1.4 million to Biden. Quillin was also one of the biggest political donors to California propositions this year. She put $2 million into opposing Proposition 20, which would have made it more difficult for convicted felons to qualify for early parole. It was struck down by voters. She put a quarter-million dollars into supporting Proposition 17, giving parolees in the state the right to vote, which won.

Losers

Donald Trump: America’s first billionaire president is also the first commander-in-chief to lose reelection in nearly three decades. He’ll leave the White House on January 20th an estimated $1 billion poorer than when he moved in, thanks to a combination of killed business deals due to political scrutiny, the impact of Covid-19 on real estate and $66 million in personal donations to his 2016 campaign (he does not appear to have given a single dollar to his 2020 effort). Luckily for Trump, losing the election might be good for his wallet.

Steven Schwarzman: While much of Wall Street distanced itself from Trump and backed Biden, Schwarzman charged ahead. One of Trump’s top supporters in the finance world, the cofounder of private equity giant Blackstone has served as an informal advisor to the president and gave at least $3.7 million to committees supporting Trump, including the Republican National Committee and a pro-Trump super-PAC this election cycle. In 2017, he hosted a $100,000-per-plate fundraiser for the president at his Manhattan home.

Sheldon Adelson: The longtime GOP megadonor looked a lot like a winner on election night. Lindsay Graham, who Adelson supported with a $1 million donation to a pro-Graham super-PAC, handily won reelection to his U.S. Senate seat for South Carolina. And the $60 million Adelson gave to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super-PAC supporting GOP senators, looked like money well spent too, with Democrats failing to take back the Senate. But by the weekend Biden was named the next president, nullifying the $75 million Adelson pumped into Preserve America, a super-PAC supporting Trump, in October. And the big bucks he spent to keep the Senate red are in jeopardy too, with Georgia’s two seats headed for runoff elections in January that could flip control of the Senate to Democrats.

Kanye West: West, who jumped into the race late and appeared on the ballots in just 12 states, only won around 60,000 votes out of more than 148 million ballots counted so far. He conceded on election night in a since-deleted tweet: “WELP KANYE 2024.” The rapper-turned-candidate gave more than $10 million to his campaign.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/

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