Billionaire Mike Bloomberg began pumping money into Florida in an effort to win the state for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden according to the BBC. The former New York City mayor has pledged to spend $100 million of his money to win the battleground state for Biden.
Bloomberg has allotted $16 million to pay the court fees of convicted felons in Florida to allow them to vote, presumably for Biden in November. The strategy was outlined in a memo obtained by the Washington Post. “We know to win Florida we will need to persuade, motivate and add new votes to the Biden column,” the memo reads. “This means we need to explore all avenues for finding the needed votes when so many votes are already determined. The data shows that in Florida, Black voters are a unique universe unlike any other voting bloc, where the Democratic support rate tends to be 90%-95%.”
Florida is the largest prize of the presumed swing states in the upcoming presidential election. Its 29 electoral votes went to Donald Trump in 2016 by a slim margin.
Bloomberg pledged to spend some of his massive fortune to win the presidency for Democrats after he dropped out of the Democratic primaries, but up until now he has not done so causing some in the Democratic Party to question his commitment. But former Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, who was co-chair of Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, said, “Mike Bloomberg is an impact player. He’s looking across the field. He takes in the data. He looks at the evidence, does the analysis, and then determines where to best have his impact to change the course of an election. That’s why he decided to invest so heavily in Florida.”
John Morgan, a Democratic fundraiser in Florida, offered another explanation for why Bloomberg took so long to get involved in the election. “The guy has an ego as large as anybody’s. It took him a while to get his feelings unbruised.”
Morgan was talking about Bloomberg’s disastrous presidential run earlier this year. After spending millions on nationwide television advertisements and not even bothering to campaign in the early contests of Iowa and New Hampshire, Bloomberg finally decided to participate in a Democratic Debate just before the Nevada primary. His performance on that night quickly sank his presidential aspirations, as he was assailed by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) over his alleged harassment and mistreatment of women in his companies. His lack of charisma and inability to connect with voters resulted in Bloomberg dropping out of the race after spending $1billion and winning only one primary contest, in American Samoa. He then terminated his campaign staffers, who he had previously vowed to keep employed through the November election.
The most recent polls have shown that the race in Florida is tightening. Biden’s lead in the Sunshine State has dropped from 5 points a month ago to around 1.5 percentage points. Democrats are hoping that the infusion of cash into the race will help generate enthusiasm for a candidate that has so far failed to inspire the party’s base. Bloomberg is hoping that this time his money will buy more for Biden than it did for himself.