Oct 27 (Reuters) - Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is planning to spend around $15 million to help Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden defeat President Donald in Texas and Ohio during the final week of the campaign, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing a senior Bloomberg aide.
Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who lost to Biden in a crowded field for the Democratic nomination, has vowed to spend up to $100 million of his personal fortune to support Biden’s campaign for the Nov. 3 election.
Bloomberg has been targeting Florida as a state he could push into the Biden column and on Monday he agreed to add Texas and Ohio for a late television advertising blitz, after his team presented polling data showing them as competitive, the Times said.
He will also increase pro-Biden advertising in Florida, the report said.
“We believe that Florida will go down to the wire, and we were looking for additional opportunities to expand the map,” Bloomberg aide Howard Wolfson told the Times. “Texas and Ohio present the best opportunities to do that, in our view.”
Wolfson and the Bloomberg team did not immediately respond to a Reuters request to confirm the report.
Trump won Texas and Ohio in his 2016 election, and holding on to both states is crucial to his re-election prospects. As the second and seventh most populous states, both are prizes in the state-by-state contests that decide the presidential race.
Trump had been favored in both at the start of the campaign. Neither state has been bombarded with the kind of television advertising that has dominated other closely divided states, potentially making a late spending campaign effective, the Times said.
Bloomberg is directing his political spending through his super PAC, Independence USA, the Times said. (Reporting by Daniel Trotta Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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