Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is launching a sizeable ad blitz for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the reliably red state of Texas, marking an unexpected shift in where Biden and his surrogates believe they can compete against President Donald Trump.
Bloomberg will also direct the ad campaign at Ohio, a state Trump won by eight points in 2016.
The former mayor’s super PAC, Independence USA, will inject a whopping $15 million into the enterprise, according to the New York Times.
One of Bloomberg’s top advisers, Howard Wolfson, told the Times that the billionaire was “looking for additional opportunities to expand the map.”
“Texas and Ohio present the best opportunities to do that, in our view,” he said.
FiveThirtyEight’s polling averages for Texas show the President ahead of Biden by a mere 1.4 points in a state that has voted Republican by wide margins in every presidential race since 1980. Trump beat Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton by nearly nine points in the Lone Star State in 2016.
Ohio has a similarly slim margin of 1.6 points between the two candidates in favor of Trump, according to FiveThirtyEight.