Bloomberg Is Finally Ready to Open His Wallet for Biden

The billionaire is committing $100 million to help in Florida—roughly 10 percent of what he spent on his own campaign.

Greg Lovett/ZUMA

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Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who pledged to spend big in order to help Democrats beat Donald Trump this November, is committing $100 million to support Joe Biden in the critical battleground state of Florida, where the former vice president is struggling to gain traction with the state’s Latino voters. 

The announcement on Sunday comes on the heels of Trump’s promise to spend “whatever it takes” of his own money after his campaign reportedly squandered its substantial cash advantage against Biden. (As my colleague Russ Choma wrote, it’s unclear if Trump even has enough cash on hand to make a real dent in the race.) Polls in Florida show that Biden’s lead in the Sunshine State has shrunk to a virtual tie in recent weeks. A senior adviser to Bloomberg said that the influx of cash in a notoriously expensive state for TV ads will free up Biden to spend campaign funds in other key states like Pennsylvania, where polls have similarly tightened.

Bloomberg’s commitment will come as a relief to Democrats, some of whom have wondered when the billionaire would be prepared to finally fulfill his promises to use his fortune to defeat Trump. But it also doesn’t appear to have come easily. The New York Times reported last week that Biden groups made multiple overtures to convince the billionaire to open his wallet to help in Florida, but Bloomberg aides largely resisted because the billionaire just wasn’t ready yet.

And while the $100 million marks a significant commitment, it’s still only 10 percent of what Bloomberg spent on his own presidential ambitions and 10 percent of the $1 billion he signaled he’d be willing to spend in order defeat Trump back in January, when he was still running for president and attempting to demonstrate unity with his Democratic rivals.

Of course, there’s still time to spend more, but with just 50 days to go till November 3, it’s hard to imagine Bloomberg suddenly pouring in an extra $900 million when it took him this long to commit to a fraction of that. 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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