Billionaire Mike Bloomberg announced Sunday that he plans to spend at least $100 million to help Democrat Joe Biden win Florida, a state which allows early voting to begin in late September and will be crucial in determining who is elected president.
Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, abruptly dropped out of the presidential race in March but promised to pour some of his fortune into efforts aimed at helping Biden defeat Donald Trump in November.
Bloomberg’s advisers said he decided to focus his election spending on Florida last week, after Trump claimed he was considering spending as much as $100 million of his own money.
“Voting starts on Sept. 24 in Florida, so the need to inject real capital in that state quickly is an urgent need,” said Bloomberg adviser Kevin Sheekey. “Mike believes that by investing in Florida, it will allow campaign resources and other Democratic resources to be used in other states, in particular the state of Pennsylvania.”
On Thursday, an updated Cook Political Report showed it had shifted its prediction for Florida from “leans Democratic” to “toss-up,” after several polls showed the race tightening.
According to the Washington Post, an average of public polls since August finds Biden up by one percentage point in Florida, well within the margin of error.
Bloomberg’s spending will reportedly focus mostly on television and digital ads, in both English and Spanish.
It’s difficult to overstate Florida’s importance when it comes to determining the winner of November’s election, with the state carrying a massive 29 electoral votes. The last Republican to win the White House without winning Florida was Calvin Coolidge in 1924. If Biden held all the states that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and also flipped Florida, he’d reach the 270-electoral vote threshold (even if he also lost swing states Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and North Carolina). No candidate has won Florida by more than five points in 20 years. In 2016, Trump beat Clinton by 1.2% in the Sunshine State.
$54.9 Billion: That’s Michael Bloomberg’s current net worth, according to Forbes.
“The bottom line is when you have additional resources, you can solidify your voters and then communicate with those who are still on the fence for some reason,” Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) said. “One hundred million can do just that.”
Michael Bloomberg Financial Profile (Forbes)