Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen attend ceremonies marking the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center at the 911 Memorial & Museum in New York City, New York, US, September 11, 2020. — Reuters pic

Bloomberg to spend at least US$100m in Florida to boost Biden, according to media

WASHINGTON, Sept 14 — Billionaire Mike Bloomberg will spend at least US$100 million (RM415 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 yesterday.

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 September 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 per cent of the vote compared to Trump’s 47 per cent, according to the latest polling average by RealClearPolitics.

Since the start of 2019, Trump’s campaign has spent some US$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 US$365 million haul — shattering previous monthly records.

“I thought Mini Mike was through with Democrat politics,” the president tweeted yesterday, 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. — AFP