Billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning to spend at least $100 million in the crucial battleground of Florida in support of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, a source familiar with the plans confirmed to CNN.
Last week a NBC News/Marist College poll showed the race in a dead heat in the Sunshine State with Biden and President Donald Trump each garnering support of 48% of likely voters.
“Mike Bloomberg is committed to helping defeat Trump, and that is going to happen in the battleground states. Mike’s substantial investment in Florida, in addition to his contributions to the DNC and to voter protection and restoration efforts this cycle, will mean Democrats and the Biden campaign can invest even more heavily in other key states like Pennsylvania, which will be critical to a Biden victory,” top Bloomberg adviser Kevin Sheekey told CNN.
The Washington Post, which first reported Bloomberg’s expected expenditure, said the one-time Democratic presidential candidate decided to put in that large of an amount in Florida after it was reported in the New York Times and later confirmed by Trump that he is prepared to spend millions in support of his reelection effort, according to advisers.
Trump responded to the news by insulting the former New York City mayor on his presidential campaign and debate performance. “Save NYC instead,” Trump tweeted.
With the funding news, Bloomberg’s team is sending a signal to Biden and other Democrats that they can spend their money elsewhere, announcing publicly what they can’t coordinate privately. The move also allows that to happen without observers seeing the Biden campaign move resources elsewhere and think they’re giving up on Florida.
One area of concern for Democrats is Biden’s current under-performing among Florida Hispanics.
The NBC/Marist survey showed Trump garnering 50% of the Latino vote in the state.
When asked if the focus of his effort will be Latino voters, one Bloomberg adviser said. “We’ll talk to every constituency important to winning FL, Latino voters clearly a focus. Will be a mix of direct spending, gifts to Democratic super Pacs, and FL political efforts already underway.”
Trump now calls Florida home and has held several events there in recent weeks.
Many political observers consider the state a must win for Trump to have a chance at winning the election.
Biden adviser Symone Sanders told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that the campaign knows “that we have work to do” to win the support of Latino voters.
“We have said from the beginning, and (former) Vice President Biden has been very clear about this, as has Sen. (Kamala) Harris, that we are really working to earn every single vote in this country,” Sanders added. “And we want to earn the votes of the Latino and Hispanic community, and so we’re doing the work.”
She pointed to recent events featuring both Biden and Harris in Florida and Arizona, both states with significant Latino populations, “because we’re committed to doing the work.”
This story has been updated with comments from President Donald Trump and Biden adviser Symone Sanders.