At Politico, Mark Caputo and David Siders write,
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s $100 million investment in Florida to defeat Donald Trump is recasting the presidential contest in the president’s must-win state, forcing his campaign to spend big to shore up his position and freeing up Democratic cash to expand the electoral map elsewhere.
Bloomberg’s massive advertising and ground-game spending, which began roughly a month ago, has thrown Trump into a defensive crouch across the arc of Sunbelt states. As a result, the president‘s campaign has scaled back its TV ad buys in crucial Northern swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan — a vacuum being filled by a constellation of outside political groups backing Joe Biden.
“It’s forced the Trump campaign to retrench in Florida. You can see it in the spending habits, in television and digital. They’re investing more at the expense of places they need to win,” said Steve Schale, who leads the pro-Biden Unite the Country super PAC.
More specifically, Caputo and Siders note,
Schale said his group and the other major Democratic super PAC, Priorities USA, have been able to focus their dollars in other parts of the country, particularly the Upper Midwest. Democratic super PACs, meanwhile, have been able to focus more attention on Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia — once-reliably red states where the president has also had to commit additional resources for the past month, in addition to Florida.
This is not just Democratic wishful thinking.
David Johnson, former Florida GOP executive director, said the Bloomberg money has had a clear effect on forcing Trump to withdraw to his core states, instead of competing across a wider national map.
“This is not your 2016 election, so abso-freaking-lutley the Trump team knows they have to maintain something closer to parity in [gross rating] points and spots in the home stretch,” Johnson said. “You best not be massively outspent in Florida the last two weeks and expect to perform well on Election Day, where Republicans have to turnout in vastly larger numbers to win.”
Bloomberg took a lot of hard hits during the presidential debates. But, if Democrats win Florida’s electoral votes, or even lose FL closely but win the election, Bloomberg will have made a tremendous contribution to ending the Trump nightmare and perhaps even saving countless lives that would be lost because of Trump’s continuing mismanagement of the pandemic. In either event, he will have earned the gratitude of his country.