Bloomberg Funding Late $15M Push to Help Biden in Texas, Ohio

WASHINGTON (Reuters) —
Former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg waves to supporters as he announces the suspension of his campaign and his endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden for president, March 4. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/File)

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is planning to spend around $15 million on television advertising in Texas and Ohio during the final week of the presidential campaign to help Democratic candidate Joe Biden defeat President Donald Trump, a Bloomberg spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Statewide ads in Texas and Ohio will run from Wednesday through Election Day next Tuesday.

Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who lost to Biden in a crowded field for the Democratic nomination, previously vowed to spend up to $100 million of his personal fortune to support Biden in Florida though his super PAC, Independence USA, and other Democratic groups.

Bloomberg asked his team to see polling data from multiple states and after reviewing the numbers on Monday decided to invest additional money to support Biden in Texas and Ohio, the spokesperson said by email, confirming a report in The New York Times.

“We believe that Florida will go down to the wire, and we were looking for additional opportunities to expand the map,” Bloomberg aide Howard Wolfson told the Times. “Texas and Ohio present the best opportunities to do that, in our view.”

Bloomberg will also increase pro-Biden advertising in Florida, fortifying a campaign that began mid-September with daily ads in 10 Florida media markets, the spokesperson said.

The Texas ads, in English and Spanish, will focus on Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Ohio ads will focus on the pandemic plus the economy and Biden’s “build back better” theme, the spokesperson said.

Trump won Texas and Ohio in his 2016 election, and holding on to both states is crucial to his re-election prospects. As the second and seventh most populous states, both are prizes in the state-by-state contests that decide the presidential race.

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