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Bloomberg Steps Up Last-Minute Ad Spending for Biden in Ohio, Texas

Michael Bloomberg speaks at a North Carolina Democratic Party event in Charlotte, N.C., February 29, 2020. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Michael Bloomberg is pumping $15 million into the presidential race in Ohio and Texas in support of Democratic nominee Joe Biden with one week remaining until the election.

Bloomberg will use his super PAC, Independence USA, to air a series of ads in the two states, which Bloomberg’s team has determined are unexpected vulnerabilities of President Trump, according to the New York Times.

The ads will mostly focus on the coronavirus. Advertising in Texas will include a Spanish-language component, while in Ohio, Independence USA plans to air ads about the economy and Biden’s “build back better” message. 

Though Trump won Ohio by a wide margin in 2016, the Biden campaign has largely eyed the Buckeye State as a battleground. Democrats have recently turned their attention to Texas, as well. Polling in both states reveals a closer-than-expected race.

Howard Wolfson, a top Bloomberg aide, said the former New York mayor recently asked his team to conduct polling to identify areas of weakness for the president’s campaign in the last few weeks of the election. Bloomberg had long focused on Florida, where he has promised to spend $100 million in support of the former vice president. He also plans to increase the size of his television ad buys in Florida over the next week.

The results of the team’s polling in a number of states last week offered evidence that Texas and Ohio would be the most effective places to boost spending, as the race in each state is close, each holds a large number of electoral votes and neither has been inundated by advertising on either side.

A recent New York Times poll showed Trump leading Biden in Texas 47 percent to 43 percent, while Wolfson said the Bloomberg polling showed tighter margins.

“We believe that Florida will go down to the wire, and we were looking for additional opportunities to expand the map,” Wolfson said. “Texas and Ohio present the best opportunities to do that, in our view.”

Texas and Ohio have 56 Electoral College votes between them. While Biden is not relying on either in his plans to capture 270 Electoral College votes, Trump has not created a path to victory that does not include winning both states.

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