Anti-Gun Activist Michael Bloomberg Plans to Dump $80 Million On 2018 Elections

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Posted: Jun 22, 2018 5:37 PM
Anti-Gun Activist Michael Bloomberg Plans to Dump $80 Million On 2018 Elections

Well, guess who is ready to dole out some cash to Democrats: former New York Mayor and anti-gun activist Michael Bloomberg. The billionaire plans to pour $80 million to help Democrats flip the House, though he hasn’t released his targeted races yet. He is reportedly playing it safe; avoiding the more conservative rural areas of the country, where his pro-gun control agenda is anathema to voters (via NYT):

Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, has decided to throw his political clout and personal fortune behind the Democratic campaign to take control of the House of Representatives this year, directing aides to spend tens of millions of dollars in an effort to expel Republicans from power.

Mr. Bloomberg — a political independent who has championed left-of-center policies on gun control, immigration and the environment — has approved a plan to pour at least $80 million into the 2018 election, with the bulk of that money going to support Democratic congressional candidates, advisers to Mr. Bloomberg said.

By siding so emphatically with one party, Mr. Bloomberg has the potential to upend the financial dynamics of the midterm campaign, which have appeared to favor Republicans up to this point. Facing intense opposition to President Trump and conservative policies, Republicans have been counting on a strong economy and heavily funded outside groups to give them a political advantage in key races, especially in affluent suburbs where it is expensive to run television ads.

Mr. Bloomberg’s intervention is likely to undermine that financial advantage by bankrolling advertising on television, online and in the mail for Democratic candidates in a dozen or more congressional districts, chiefly in moderate suburban areas where Mr. Trump is unpopular. Democrats need to gain 23 congressional seats to win a majority.

While Mr. Bloomberg has not chosen his list of targeted races yet, he is unlikely to get involved in rural, conservative-leaning districts where his views on guns and other issues could stir an uproar, according to people briefed on his plans, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

Okay—we’ve seen this before. In Virginia, he poured money into key state Senate races to flip the chamber. He did so in 2015and 2017—both attempts failed. The Republicans maintained control of the upper chamber. Also, new polling shows that the GOP is not in bad shape in some swing districts (via NTK Network):

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Polls from the Global Strategy Group show that President Trump’s favorable ratings are underwater in TX-07, NJ-07, and FL-26, but the Republican incumbents in those states remain in good shape.

Here’s how Trump compares to the incumbents:

TX-07: Trump 44 percent favorable/ 51 percent unfavorable; Rep. John Culberson 38 percent favorable/30 percent unfavorable.

NJ-07: Trump 47 percent favorable/50 percent unfavorable; Rep. Leonard Lance 44 percent favorable/30 percent unfavorable.

FL-29: Trump 46 percent favorable/48 percent unfavorable; Rep. Carlos Curbelo 42 percent favorable/27 percent unfavorable.

But if there’s one thing that could upend the GOP’s chances in averting disaster on Election Day, it’s not Michael Bloomberg. It’s the fact that we’re dealing with immigration right now, an issue that divides the party like no other. We don’t need this right now.