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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

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.

Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook refers Trump ban to independent Oversight Board for review

Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's independent Oversight Board has accepted a referral from the platform to review its decision to indefinitely suspend former President Trump.

Why it matters: While Trump critics largely praised the company's decision to remove the then-president's account for potential incitement of violence, many world leaders and free speech advocates pushed back on the decision, arguing it sets a dangerous precedent for free speech moving forward.