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Stills from Bloomberg's ad campaign

Michael Bloomberg's final decision on a presidential run is "days, not weeks" away, a person familiar with his thinking tells Axios — with an announcement expected before Thanksgiving.

Driving the news: The source said the billionaire and former New York mayor's funding of a $100 million, digital, anti-Trump ad series is "a step toward running for Mike, not a step away from running," and that “he is actively preparing."

The ad campaign, first reported by the New York Times, is aimed at helping whoever wins the Democratic nomination by beginning general election spending now to target Trump early in the battleground states.

  • The first of these ads are expected to go live by Monday.
  • One still image previewed to Axios addresses Trump's use of social media, saying, "A tweet shouldn't threaten our country's security" and "tantrums are not presidential. You shouldn't have to worry about what he'll say on Twitter."
  • Another depicts Trump and Republicans laughing in the White House Rose Garden and says that when it comes to protecting Americans with pre-existing health conditions, "Trump doesn't care."

The digital ads initially are focusing on voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — three states where Trump's narrow victories in 2016 cost Hillary Clinton the presidency — and in Arizona, which Bloomberg considers ripe for a Democratic pickup. They could expand to other states.

The bottom line: If Bloomberg gets in, his ability to compete financially against Trump will be one of his strongest arguments for electability.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.