With about fifty days to go until the election, billionaire and former candidate Mike Bloomberg is announcing that he’s about to spend $100 million or more in the state of Florida in support of Joe Biden’s campaign. This move is being interpreted in a lot of different ways, but it’s actually pretty straightforward.
For starters, Bloomberg promised all along that he’d spend big in support of whoever ended up being the Democratic nominee. So this isn’t some sudden decision based on the current state of the race; it’s simply what Bloomberg said from the start that he would end up doing. The two interesting parts here are the timing and location.
As far as timing, just yesterday, forecaster Harry Enten pointed out that historically, any meaningful shifts in the polling averages (in either direction) tend to take place during the window of time when there are fewer than 50 days, but more than 35 days, until the election. In other words, these next couple weeks are crucial for both candidates, and here we have Bloomberg spending big for Biden during that time period.
As for the location, despite some recent scary headlines that were based on outlier polls and out-of-context numbers, Joe Biden has a steady medium-sized lead in Florida. It’s his state to win. And if he does win it, Donald Trump will be left with a very difficult path to 270 electoral votes. So it makes sense that Bloomberg is looking to lock up Florida, because doing so would very probably put Biden in the White House. But money alone doesn’t win a state. It’s time for us all to start volunteering and phone banking as well.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report