Bloomberg's $100 Million Not Enough to Help Biden as Trump Wins Florida

Former New York City mayor and presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg's $100 million cash infusion into the state of Florida on behalf of Joe Biden was all for naught, as President Donald Trump was able to win the Sunshine State again.

As the Biden loss in Florida was called, some on Twitter began bringing up Bloomberg's losing investment after he spent $1 billion on his short-lived presidential campaign earlier in the year.

"How much did Bloomberg spend in Florida again? $100 million?" asked Kimberly Strassel, a Wall Street Journal columnist.

Fox called the state for Trump at about 11 p.m. ET, after the former vice president underperformed in heavily Democratic Miami-Dade County.

Bloomberg's financial windfall, in the late stages of the race this fall, were a show of force across paid television in English and Spanish, as well as bilingual direct mail, aimed at Black and Latino low-propensity voters.

But the Bloomberg effort also was noteworthy for a focus on funding groups that would ramp up the traditional door-knocking the Biden campaign largely eschewed during the race because of pandemic safety fears, a decision that worried Florida Democrats in the final weeks.

"The biggest investment was from Bloomberg to help stand up our communities, but once again it's the story of late investment," Andrea Mercado, executive director of New Florida Majority, a group Bloomberg funded on the ground, told Newsweek. "It happens when they realize what we know all along: that Florida is going to be close. But there are real limitations with what you can do with late money."

Mercado said you can place digital ads late in the race to try to reach voters of color, but a serious field operation in the era of the coronavirus is "a challenge to get the type of scale you need to have a meaningful impact."

Bloomberg's team, however, said the goal of the money was two-fold. One purpose was to free the Biden team to spend in other battleground states. A second purpose, Bloomberg adviser Kevin Sheekey said, was to force the Trump campaign to spend money in Florida.

"Our goal was to make Trump fight for a state he was taking for granted and draw resources from blue-wall states, allowing Joe Biden to become more competitive in those states," Sheekey told Newsweek. "To make Trump fight like hell in Florida."

But Biden's underperformance in Miami-Dade County is not only dispiriting for the campaign effort but also for Bloomberg's investment, which hoped would boost the former vice president with voters of color.

Biden was winning Miami-Dade by only 8 points, or about 86,000 votes, while Clinton won the county by 290,000 votes.

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Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg (L) and Former Vice President Joe Biden (R) speak during a break in the ninth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season. Bloomberg is spending to back Biden in Florida, to help the Democratic presidential candidate's campaign. Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images