Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to drop $100M into Florida in hopes of boosting Democrat Joe Biden for president. Bloomberg, whose own presidential campaign flamed out despite a bevy of local endorsements, announced the plan on Sunday saying his own ad buy through Independence USA PAC would allow Democrats to focus on other states. Via The Washington Post:
“Voting starts on Sept. 24 in Florida so the need to inject real capital in that state quickly is an urgent need,” said Bloomberg adviser Kevin Sheekey. “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.”
The focus of Bloomberg’s cash appears to be Latino voters with POLITICO reporting there are worries about polling showing Biden has double-digit support but not what other Democrats enjoyed in previous elections. Maybe this is what Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was referring to when he (allegedly) griped to the Biden campaign about the need to tap the services of New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. If it’s believable the democratic socialist would help Biden with Miami’s Cuban population. Maybe that’s where Bloomberg comes in so it’s harder for Trump to say Biden is sending democratic socialists to Florida instead of just plain nanny staters.
POLITICO also reported both major parties have spent over $300M in TV ad time in Florida so who cares if another $100M is on its way to the airwaves. It’s probably to the point where commercial breaks for TV shows will end up only being pro-Trump or pro-Biden ads with a personal injury attorney commercial thrown in just to break up the monotony.
This announcement will allow the GOP and Trump campaign to tap their own donors for more cash even if Republican donations appear behind whatever Biden raised last month. Trump could also go-ahead to put in the $100M Bloomberg News, of all places, reported he vowed to spend to help with his own re-election campaign effectively negating Bloomberg’s donation.
Bloomberg may not be the right messenger for Biden to garner Latino support. He never performed too well in his mayoral campaign amongst Hispanic voters, per City & State New York due to his previous support of “tough on crime” measures.
Bloomberg’s support for aggressive policing and its impact on communities of color is the largest sticking point in his mayoral record for many Latinos. During his tenure, the NYPD ramped up stop-and-frisk policing and low-level marijuana arrests, both of which disproportionately affected black and Latino communities. About 87% of those arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana while Bloomberg was in office were black or Latino. In 2009, The New York Times reported that black and Latino New Yorkers were nine times more likely to be stopped by the police than white residents.
“As mayor of New York City, Bloomberg used stop and frisk to unlawfully stop and harass black and Latino people,” Raphael Agosto-Miranda from New York Boricua Resistance, a group that advocates for Puerto Rican independence, told City & State in an email. “The most affected Latin group were Puerto Ricans as they are the largest Latin American group in the city. Bloomberg has never voiced concern for the island of Puerto Rico or the politics on the island.”
Of course, any other candidate not named Dr. Jo Jorgesen would pounce on this hypocrisy from Bloomberg immediately if they weren’t running a so-called “law and order” campaign.
Polls, for those wondering, put Florida as a “toss-up” instead of “lean Democrat” and we’ll see if they’re correct going into November. Trump’s campaign team expects a repeat of 2016 where it showed him trailing until the results were counted and he won the Electoral College and, thus, the election. It’s an iffy strategy but it worked last time, so why not try it again. If not, there’s always complaining about sample size.
Bloomberg likely wants something from Biden and Democrats, whether it be a cabinet position or the chance to be a successor or legislation/executive order backing, hence his decision to drop the cash into Florida. It’s doubtful this is being done out of pure magnanimity on Bloomberg’s part. Yet, it’s his choice to sink the money into Florida and maybe it will tilt the state towards Biden. Or have voters ask what’s the point of casting a ballot if the major party candidates are both hypocrites not worth supporting.