Feb 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bloomberg to double TV ad spending amid Iowa uncertainty

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.

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37 mins ago - World

The eye of the COVID-19 storm shifts to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic has moved from China to Europe to the United States and now to Latin America.

Why it matters: Up until now, the pandemic has struck hardest in relatively affluent countries. But it's now spreading fastest in countries where it will be even harder to track, treat and contain.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,768,908 — Total deaths: 358,490 — Total recoveries — 2,399, 247Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,717,756 — Total deaths: 101,562 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: The mystery of coronavirus superspreaders.
  4. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  5. World: Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S.
  6. Education: Science fairs are going virtual, and some online elements may become permanent.
  7. Axios on HBO: Science fiction writers tell us how they see the coronavirus pandemic.
  8. 🏃‍♀️Sports: Boston Marathon canceled after initial postponement, asks runners to go virtual.
  9. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Minnesota activates National Guard amid fallout from George Floyd death

A portrait of George Floyd hangs on a street light pole in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

George Floyd, 46, moved to Minnesota to improve his life and become his "best self," but instead, he is dead because of Minneapolis police.

The latest: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and activated the state's National Guard in response to violent clashes over the past two days between police and protesters in the Twin Cities.