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Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday authorized his 2020 presidential campaign to capitalize on the uncertainty of the Iowa caucuses result by doubling television advertising spending and expanding staff in the field to 2,000 people, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Bloomberg is skipping the four early contests in February and hoping to make a national splash on Super Tuesday on March 3. By positioning himself as a moderate best suited to defeat Trump, the billionaire and former New York mayor would stand to benefit from no clear front-runner emerging from the early contests.

The state of play: Bloomberg's advertising bump will be massive, as he spent more than $130 million on television ads during the last quarter of 2019 — despite not officially entering the race until the end of November.

  • He has rapidly become the 2020 candidate to spend the most on ads, dwarfing the rest of the field in a short amount of time.
  • Bloomberg has also built a vast team on the ground in order to provide a strong foundation in key battleground states, like North Carolina and Pennsylvania. He has promised that his campaign apparatus will back the eventual Democratic nominee — even if it's not him.

The big picture, via Axios' Jonathan Swan: Bloomberg's campaign said it will have 800 full- and part-time staff and 20 field offices in California by the time it votes on Super Tuesday — a figure no other campaign will be able to match.

  • Worth noting: California has 415 delegates to Iowa's 41.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 hours ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.