You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

How Bloomberg’s $100 million Florida bet may shape campaign

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 4 days ago The Associated Press
Michael Bloomberg wearing a suit and tie: FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2020, file photo, then-Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a campaign event in Providence, R.I. Bloomberg has come through on his vow to spend “whatever it takes” to defeat President Donald Trump. The former presidential candidate has pledged to spend $100 million in Florida to boost Joe Biden there. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) © David Goldman FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2020, file photo, then-Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a campaign event in Providence, R.I. Bloomberg has come through on his vow to spend “whatever it takes” to defeat President Donald Trump. The former presidential candidate has pledged to spend $100 million in Florida to boost Joe Biden there. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — When billionaire Mike Bloomberg ended his presidential campaign in March, he pledged to spend “whatever it takes” to help Democrats defeat President Donald Trump. Less than two months before the election, he’s finally coming through.

Facing questions about whether he would fulfill his promise, Bloomberg over the weekend moved to direct $100 million to Florida alone in support of Joe Biden. It’s a massive sum on par with the resources he poured into helping Democrats retake the House in 2018 and could put Trump on defense in a state that is critical to his reelection.

Billionaire donors have long played a central role in supporting both parties. Yet no one has proposed pumping in so much cash to support a presidential campaign in a single state. Bloomberg’s allies say the investment is in line with his longtime strategy in business and politics: to make the most impactful investment, based on the best data, at the right time.

“Mike Bloomberg is an impact player,” said former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who served as a co-chair of Bloomberg’s presidential campaign. “He’s looking across the field. He takes in the data. He looks at the evidence, does the analysis and then determines where to best have his impact to change the course of an election. That’s why he decided to invest so heavily in Florida.”

Bloomberg’s advisers say his Florida investment offers multiple benefits for Democrats: It frees up Democratic cash, allowing the campaign and outside groups to focus on other key swing states; it requires Republicans to spend more heavily to make up for the disparity there; and a decisive win by Biden in Florida could help tamp down efforts most Democrats are expecting from Trump to discount the results of the election.

Florida election officials can start counting absentee ballots weeks before Election Day, which means they’re typically able to report those results — which tend to favor Democrats — that night. And Trump has praised Florida’s mail ballot system, meaning if Biden wins there, it will be tougher for Trump to reverse course on the state.

“It’s pretty important for the democracy if Biden does win for us to be able to call Florida on election night,” said Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s longtime adviser.

His Florida investment has tempered those criticisms, but some privately still grumble that it took him until the final months of the race to engage.

“The guy has an ego as large as anybody’s. It took him a while to get his feelings unbruised,” said John Morgan, a major Democratic fundraiser and plaintiffs' attorney in Florida, who added that Bloomberg nonetheless has the opportunity to deliver a “knockout blow” to Trump if Biden ends up winning Florida.

Bloomberg’s aides argue that the billionaire businessman has been involved from the start of his own campaign, noting the money he spent on anti-Trump advertising — $275 million, according to their tally.

And they say that, beyond Florida, Bloomberg is one of the Democratic Party’s biggest funders.

He has contributed $500,000 to Voto Latino to help register Latino voters, $2 million to the group Collective Future to help register Black voters, and $2 million to Swing Left, a group focused on electing Democrats in swing districts.

Bloomberg’s advisers say they are still working out the details of how they will spend the money in Florida. Much of it will go to TV and internet advertising, as well as Latino-focused get-out-the-vote efforts. They also plan to invest significantly in existing groups that have already built infrastructure, and Hawkfish will be involved in making a number of the spending and advertising decisions, particularly around educating voters on mail-in voting.

Some of the spending is aimed, however, at helping Biden make up for what some Democrats say is an unexpected deficit in Florida. Many say Biden, who visited the state on Tuesday for the first time since becoming the nominee, has not reached out enough to Hispanics in particular.

“It has gotten closer,” said Manny Diaz, a former Miami mayor who is advising the new Bloomberg effort in Florida. “We see a narrowing because there is a vacuum right now. And what is going to be important over the next 50 to 60 days is to fill that vacuum.”


Video: Michael Bloomberg commits to spend $100 million to help Biden in Florida (NBC News)

UP NEXT
UP NEXT
AdChoices
AdChoices

More from New York Daily News

New York Daily News
New York Daily News
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon