WORLD Bloomberg to spend at least $100 mn in Florida to boost Biden: media

WORLD

Bloomberg to spend at least $100 mn in Florida to boost Biden: media

AFP

07:31, September 14, 2020

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(File photo: social media)

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg will spend at least $100 million to boost Democratic candidate Joe Biden's prospects in Florida, a battleground state that could sway the presidential election's outcome, US media reported Sunday.

The former New York mayor made the decision after President Donald Trump announced earlier in the week he is prepared to spend part of his own fortune on his reelection campaign, according to The Washington Post which cited Bloomberg advisors.

Trump, who won Florida in 2016, is counting on strong Republican turnout in his adopted home state this go-around.

"Voting starts on Sept. 24 in Florida so the need to inject real capital in that state quickly is an urgent need," Bloomberg advisor Kevin Sheekey told the Post.

"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," he added.

All of this year's top swing states -- Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona -- went to Trump in 2016, including four which had voted for Democrat Barack Obama in 2012.

Biden is polling ahead in Florida but only marginally, with 48.2 percent of the vote compared to Trump's 47 percent, according to the latest polling average by RealClearPolitics.

Since the start of 2019, Trump's campaign has spent some $800 million, more than twice as much as that of Biden.

But Biden surprised many by overtaking Trump in the fundraising stakes this August with a $365 million haul -- shattering previous monthly records.

"I thought Mini Mike was through with Democrat politics," the president tweeted Sunday, referring to Bloomberg's bid for the Democratic nomination during the party's primaries, adding that the ex-mayor should "save NYC instead."

Bloomberg was snubbed by primary voters despite one of the most expensive presidential runs in US electoral history, including an advertising blitz that dominated TV networks, news websites and social media sites.

Biden, who is hammering at Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, maintains a healthy lead in national polls and much smaller but consistent advantages in the swing states.

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