With all eyes on the Democrats -- and there's certainly a lot happening on that front, including Pete's exit, the Biden surge, and another enormous fundraising haul for Bernie -- the Trump campaign is also marching forward. The president is holding large rallies all over the country, often shadowing the Democratic calendar, and continues to pile up mountains of campaign cash. The latest statistics, via Trump's campaign manager:
The @realDonaldTrump juggernaut rolls on!— Brad Parscale - Text TRUMP to 88022 (@parscale) March 2, 2020
Over $86 million raised in February by the Trump campaign, @GOP & joint committees combined.
That’s almost $3 million a day, every day, for a month.
$225 million cash on hand.
All due to POTUS’s record and unprecedented support.
It would appear as though the GOP is building an absolutely dominant lead over the hapless Democratic party ahead of the general election, but there's a factor that must be taken into consideration: Michael Bloomberg. My strong suspicion is that the New York billionaire's presidential campaign is not terribly long for this world, but even if he flames out and departs the race, his money is going to stay in the game. Recall this New York Times story from January:
Michael R. Bloomberg on Saturday did not rule out spending a billion dollars of his own money on the 2020 presidential race, even if he does not win the Democratic nomination, and said he would mobilize his well-financed political operation to help Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren win in November if either is the party nominee, despite their sharp policy differences. Mr. Bloomberg’s plans would effectively create a shadow campaign operation for the general election, complete with hundreds of organizers in key battleground states and a robust digital operation, ready to be inherited by the party nominee — regardless of who that nominee may be...If Mr. Bloomberg fails to win the nomination, future spending would be redirected toward attacking Mr. Trump.
Republicans will need to contend not only with the eventual nominees' campaign, the DNC and its affiliates, and the numerous lefty groups and PACs; they'll also have to fight against the Bloomberg death star -- a super PAC and ground game rolled into one quasi-autonomous operation rowing in the same direction as the collective anti-Trump Left. The concern is real:
NEW: Republican financiers are reassessing 2020 fundraising goals, concerned unprecedented spending by @MikeBloomberg could erase a key advantage for @realDonaldTrump & overwhelm the GOP down-ticket. https://t.co/wLWLVFTyXY @dcexaminer— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) February 21, 2020
Republicans are unimpressed with Bloomberg the candidate, especially after his performance in Wednesday’s Democratic debate, but some party strategists concede admiration for the former New York City mayor’s campaign, saying his strategy is sound and his resources are being deployed smartly. That’s why, with Bloomberg vowing to keep a zombie operation running even if his presidential bid falters, the GOP’s big-money backers are talking about upping their investment in 2020. “Bloomberg’s money is motivating donors to give more,” a well-connected Republican operative said. “People are stepping up.” Worries about Bloomberg’s wallet extend to Republicans focused on congressional contests.
The Democrat was one of the single biggest donors to the liberal cause in the 2018 elections, putting the GOP at an insurmountable disadvantage in several House and Senate races. Republicans worry the same could happen again this November, either through direct investments by Bloomberg or via a rising tide fueled by a Bloomberg organization that is active in districts and states that Democrats usually bypass. "It's hard to win elections getting dramatically outspent," a Republican insider said. "Absolutely, Bloomberg's money is a factor."...“We aren’t freaking out,” a Trumpworld insider said. “As I say to anyone who asks me how Trump deals with the storm of spending and negative media/attacks: ‘He is the storm. They have to deal with him.’”
Nevertheless, for now, Trump Inc. is running circles around its rivals, investing fairly heavily in airing swing state-specific ads designed to project strength and build momentum toward the fall. And that's just the beginning, as ABC News reports:
The campaign has produced and run six-figure ad buys after rallies in New Hampshire, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado -- with plans to roll run another local ad highlighting Trump's North Charleston rally, a senior Trump campaign official told ABC News. The president tweeted out a version of the South Carolina ad but the campaign hasn’t announced its placement or a buy yet. According to ad service firm CMAG, the Trump campaign placed a $139,000 ad buy in Nevada to run over the next two weeks, and spent $188,760 in Colorado for the week of Feb. 25-Mar. 2. The ads themselves serve as a 90-second highlight reel recapping each rally, carefully curated by the campaign to air in local markets. They promote issues specific to each state like immigration in Nevada and record low unemployment in South Carolina. The Arizona ad features the viral video of a World War II veteran being carried to his seat at the Phoenix Trump rally.
"The Trump campaign has said they've yet to fully dive into their planned persuasion ad plan. 'We haven't even really started -- we haven't run $1 of persuasion advertising, really. We've done some but like nothing like what we're going to do over the next six months,'" a Trump campaign official told ABC. "And while locally focused ads aren't a new strategy for a presidential campaign, the new ads are the latest way the Trump campaign has found to extend the impact and maximize the return on investment of the president's rallies." Here is the Colorado version of the ad:
I'll leave you with another new initiative from Team Trump, as they expand their efforts to maintain and grow a robust ground game:
NOW ANNOUNCING: https://t.co/2NNoUuG5Cn!— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) March 2, 2020
Visit our new site & learn how to:
?Make calls on Trump Talk
?Become a digital activist
?Host a MAGA Meet Up
?Become a bundler
Text ENLIST to 88022 now! #ArmyForTrump
Also, the Republican Party is planning to deploy millions of dollars and dozens of staffers to the deep blue states of California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York this fall. Here's why.