Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Billionaire Mike Bloomberg plans to spend at least $100 million to help Joe Biden win Florida in November's election, the Washington Post reports.
Why it matters: Taking Florida would be close to a knockout blow by Biden, who could then win the election outright by retaining all the states that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and defeating President Trump in one of the following swing states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina or Arizona.
The big picture: Cook Political Report on Thursday shifted its prediction for Florida from "leans Democratic" to "toss up," after a number of polls showed the race tightening. Some Biden advisers have expressed concern about his soft support among Hispanic voters, who make up more than 20% of the electorate in Florida.
Between the lines: Bloomberg's aim is to encourage enough early voting to "give lie to what we expect to be Trump’s election night messaging that Democrats are stealing the election, because unlike other battleground states, Florida counts its absentee ballots on or by Election Day,” said Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson.
- Hawkfish, a data and analytics firm funded by Bloomberg, told "Axios on HBO" that it's highly likely that Trump will appear to have won — potentially in a landslide — on election night, even if he ultimately loses when all the votes are counted.
- The group is trying to educate the public about the possibility of this so-called "red mirage" and sensitize state and county elections officials, news organizations, and the courts to the perils of premature results.
What they're saying: "Voting starts on Sept. 24 in Florida so the need to inject real capital in that state quickly is an urgent need,” Bloomberg adviser Kevin Sheekey told the Post. "Mike believes that by investing in Florida it will allow campaign resources and other Democratic resources to be used in other states, in particular the state of Pennsylvania."
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that Biden must win one swing state in addition to winning Florida and retaining the states Hillary Clinton won in order to reach 270 Electoral College votes.