At the beginning of the year, former New York mayor and campaign spendthrift Michael Bloomberg said he would consider putting up as much as $1 billion of his own fortune to beat Trump in November, even if his bid for the Democratic nomination was unsuccessful. In March, when his late entry into the race turned out to be an expensive flop, his tune changed. Bloomberg fired his well-compensated campaign staff, potentially taking away insurance benefits in the midst of a pandemic, despite contracts that reportedly promised employment through November.
The money to support “whoever’s in the race” did not appear — until Sunday that is, when the billionaire who spent $1 billion on his own campaign announced he would spend up to $100 million in Florida to help Joe Biden defeat the president in the swing state. According to a press release from Bloomberg’s Independence USA political committee, much of the spending will be put toward “communicating with Hispanic voters” via digital and TV ads. With mail-in ballots going out in just six days, a recent poll from Marist showed Trump ahead of Biden by four points among Latino voters in Florida, a diverse group including more conservative-leaning communities from Cuba and Venezuela.
The polling average shows Biden leading by just 1.2 votes in a state that is pivotal for both campaigns’ paths to victory — and potentially the state that can save the country from a contested election on November 3. Both campaigns are already investing heavily in Florida; according to one company that tracks TV commercial spending, total ad spending in the state has ballooned to over $319 million. And as Bloomberg’s PAC notes, the billionaire’s ad buys in Florida will “allow Democrats and the Biden campaign to invest heavily in other key states,” requiring the cash-strapped Trump campaign to sink more cash into the state, which has been taken by every Electoral College winner since 1996. Despite an early fundraising lead and the incumbent’s benefit of skipping primary spending, Trump trailed Biden in donor hauls last month by $150 million.