Bloomberg commits late money to help Biden in Texas

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AUSTIN, Texas — In the latest sign that Texas is really in play in the presidential race, Michael Bloomberg will be spending about a million dollars a day the last week of the campaign on statewide advertising in Texas in both Spanish and English to help Democratic nominee Joe Biden defeat President Donald Trump.

Howard Wolfson, a top Bloomberg adviser, told The New York Times Tuesday morning that the billionaire businessman and former Democratic presidential contender, who has already committed $100 million to helping Biden in the critical swing state of Florida, had asked his team to poll other states where Trump may be especially vulnerable and both Ohio and Texas looked ripe.

All together, Bloomberg’s super PAC, Independence USA, will spend $15 million on advertising in the two states beginning Wednesday, the Times reported. The Texas ads will attack the president’s management of the response to COVID-19.

The ads will launch on Wednesday and run through Election Day.

Trump won Ohio and Texas by similar margins in 2016, carrying Ohio by 8 points and Texas by 9 points. But the Obama-Biden ticket carried Ohio in 2008 and 2012, while Texas hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Recent polls have shown Biden and Trump running neck-and-neck in Texas, but the New York Times/Siena College poll released Monday found Trump ahead by 4 points, 47% to 43% for Biden.

While Biden has not visited Texas during the general election campaign, his running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, will be campaigning in Texas on Friday.

Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, broke spending records in his short run for the presidency, which was focused on Texas and other March 3 Super Tuesday states. His campaign was predicated on his concern that Biden was unlikely to secure the nomination, with a candidate further to the left prevailing. With Biden ascendant after Super Tuesday, Bloomberg bowed out.

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