Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending about $15 million on television advertising for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Texas and Ohio as the former vice president tries to put the pressure on President Trump in a pair of states Trump won comfortably in 2016, The New York Times reports.
Howard Wolfson, an adviser to onetime Democratic presidential candidate, told the Times that Bloomberg allowed his team to buy the ads on Monday morning. His super PAC, Independence USA, will air Biden television ads in all television markets across both states.
Wolfson told the newspaper that the ads would highlight the spike in new coronavirus cases across the nation under Trump. The moves in Texas will also include some Spanish advertisements to target the state’s large Latino population.
In Ohio, the super PAC will focus it’s advertisements on Biden’s “Build Back Better” message.
Wolfson also told the newspaper that the billionaire is also increasing his ad buys in Florida, where the PAC has largely been focused, over the next week. Last month, The Washington Post reported that Bloomberg would spend at least $100 million to help Biden in the Sunshine State.
A New York Times-Siena College poll on Monday found that Trump holds a narrow, 4-point lead over Biden in Ohio, and a Fox News poll released last week found the president up by 3 percentage points in the state.
But Bloomberg had asked his team to conduct polls to find any vulnerabilities for Trump that could be targeted, Wolfson told the Times. He said their polling showed the presidential race close in all three states.
“We believe that Florida will go down to the wire, and we were looking for additional opportunities to expand the map,” Mr. Wolfson told the Times. “Texas and Ohio present the best opportunities to do that, in our view.”
Texas and Ohio are central to Trump’s reelection strategy, and losing the two states’ 56 Electoral College votes would almost certainly mean a Biden victory.
Biden has been campaigning in Ohio as if it’s a battleground state, despite the fact that President Trump won the state by a comfortable 8 points in 2016. He’s only recently turned his attention to Texas, as his strategy largely targets battleground states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Texas, which Trump won by 9 points in 2016, has shown a tight race in the polls, with Sen. John Cornyn (R), who is facing his own competitive reelection campaign, having privately said that Trump’s unpopularity is holding down other members of the GOP in the state, according to a New York Times report.