Political News

Bloomberg campaign looks to seize on Iowa chaos

Posted February 4, 2020 2:21 p.m. EST

— Michael Bloomberg's campaign sees an opening in the Iowa chaos.

Bloomberg's campaign now has more than 2,100 people on staff, including 1,700 people in 40 states and 400 people in the campaign's New York headquarters, aides tell CNN.

And Bloomberg met with his senior leadership team on Tuesday morning to discuss the results -- or lack thereof -- out of Iowa and authorized his team to double the amount they are spending on television during that meeting, according to multiple Bloomberg aides.

That is a significant step for Bloomberg, who already spent more than $300 million on advertising for his presidential campaign, according to data compiled by Kantar Media/CMAG. An aide said that the campaign will "immediately increase ad spending in our current markets as well as add new markets, with our total gross ratings points doubling, from 1,200 to 2,400."

The announcements come while the Democratic nomination process is in chaos, as significant delays in reporting numbers out of Iowa has put the race at a standstill, with no results reported. The Iowa Democratic Party said Tuesday that they planned to report at least 50% of the results by Tuesday evening.

All of it, Bloomberg's campaign believes, plays into the former mayor's hands: He and his top aides are hoping for a jumbled fight through the first four contests, allowing Bloomberg and his massive campaign war chest to compete in key Super Tuesday states, where significantly more delegates are at play than in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

"Tonight's confusion is an unfortunate distraction from Democrats' most important task this year -- beating Donald Trump," Bloomberg spokesman Jason Schechter tweeted on Monday night. "Tomorrow Mike will be in Michigan and Pennsylvania continuing to focus on sending Trump packing this November."

Bloomberg's staff of more than 2,100 people dwarfs all other Democratic presidential campaigns, where some of the biggest -- including Biden and Buttigieg -- are in the 400 to 600 range.

The former New York mayor will now have staff in 40 states, including all Super Tuesday states that will vote on March 3. In 18 total states, Bloomberg staff is more than 40. And in six of the biggest battle ground states come November -- Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona, Florida and Michigan -- Bloomberg's staff is now over 450 people.

"While other campaigns have been focused on Iowa, we've been building an operation of political and organizing talent across the country that is unmatched and laying the groundwork in the states critical to defeating Trump in November," said Dan Kanninen, Bloomberg's states director.

Bloomberg's strategy since he launched in November has been to largely ignore the Democratic primary and turn the race into one against Trump.

The former mayor has done that by airing ads the focus on his personal biography, comparing it to the President's, and by taking Trump on in ads aired on Fox News, the President's favorite channel.

Bloomberg will continue that effort on Tuesday when he airs an ad during Trump's State of the Union address titled, "The Real State of the Union."

The 30-second spot, which the campaign said will air on MSNBC, Fox, and CNN during the State of the Union, features a narrator arguing the country is "divided by an angry, out of control President."

"Even before his speech, it's easy to predict that President Trump will lie about his record and the negative impact his presidency has had on the American people," said Julie Wood, a Bloomberg spokeswoman. "This new ad fact-checks and contrasts him with Mike Bloomberg -- the strongest candidate to beat Trump in November."

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