Trump Says Campaign 'Spending More in Florida' As Polls Show Tight Race With Biden

President Donald Trump has hit back at questions over the sums his team is spending in Florida, following reports that his re-election campaign has slashed its advertising budget in the crucial Sunshine State.

Bloomberg reported that the Trump campaign had canceled $5.5 million worth of ads scheduled for the final fortnight of the campaign, instead relying on the Republican National Committee (RNC) to pick up the slack.

Citing data from Advertising Analytics, it was reported that the RNC had bought $4 million in ads. Meanwhile, the campaign for former Vice President Joe Biden had booked $16.7 million in ads in the state for the 15 days in the run-up to election day.

We are spending more in Florida, and we are winning big in Florida. Actually, we are winning big in many states as the Great Red Wave begins to form!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2020

Other news outlets have described the Trump campaign as cash-strapped, with CNN reporting that the Biden campaign will considerably outspend the president and the national party in Florida in the last days before November 3.

The former vice president and the Democratic National Committee will spend around $6.8 million in the state in the campaign's final week, more than double the $2.9 million earmarked by the Trump campaign and the RNC, CNN reported, citing Kantar's Campaign Media Analysis Group.

However, Trump has tweeted that there is no shortage of resources being used to retain the state, which is crucial to his re-election.

He said: "We are spending more in Florida, and we are winning big in Florida. Actually, we are winning big in many states as the Great Red Wave begins to form!"

Advertising is often booked early by campaigns to get the cheapest rate and resources are frequently redeployed to other states, stations or time slots as their election strategy changes.

When contacted for comment, the Trump campaign referred Newsweek to a statement by its spokesman Tim Murtaugh disputing the figures reported by Bloomberg.

"The campaign, with the RNC coordinated buy, is up with a seven-figure buy in Florida on broadcast TV alone. In addition, in Florida, we are up with six figures in local cable, six figures in Spanish language, and six figures on radio," the statement said.

"Last week, we announced a $55 million buy over the final two weeks, which is a 40 percent increase over our previous levels. Just yesterday we added $6 million on top of that for the final week.

"Including Florida, the Trump campaign is on television in 12 states and also nationally," he added.

Latest polling data from Florida Atlantic University carried out on October 24 and 25 puts Biden two points ahead of Trump, 50-48, with two percent saying they would vote for someone else. Some six percent of respondents said there was a chance they would change their minds.

There are seven names on the ballot paper for Florida voters and David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, said that those who did not have a party affiliation are a key focus for the Trump and Biden campaigns.

"Independents have the highest amount of undecideds. If persuasion is the methodology, independents are the place with the most fertile ground," he told Newsweek earlier in October.

Michael Binder, director of the Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida, which carries out regular polling in the state, told Newsweek this month: "I really expect this race to be close. I think with an election in Florida, if it is two points, then it's a landslide. I would expect the race to be much closer."

Trump campaign sign Florida
A campaign sign near the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office polling station on October 25, 2020 in Largo, Florida. The Trump campaign is reportedly cutting its advertising spending in the Sunshine State. Octavio Jones/Getty Images