President Donald Trump, who has trailed his Democratic rival Joe Biden in fundraising, has pulled back some of his television advertising in the crucial state of Florida in the final sprint to Election Day, instead tapping his party’s funds to help spread his message across the state.
In recent days, Trump’s campaign has reduced its advertising spending by about $2 million in the battleground of Florida but remains on the air in the Sunshine State – boosted by spending from the Republican National Committee, according to Kantar’s Campaign Media Analysis Group.
Biden is set to outspend the President and the national party in Florida during the final week of the campaign: The former vice president and the Democratic National Committee have reserved roughly $6.8 million in advertising in the state, more than double the $2.9 million currently that the Trump campaign and the RNC are on tap to spend, the data show.
The President has focused intently on the Rust Belt states he captured in 2016 and has boosted his television advertising spending in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – and in the traditionally Republican strongholds of Georgia and Arizona, according to Kantar.
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A week before Election Day, Trump stumped for votes Tuesday in Michigan, with stops also planned in Wisconsin and Omaha, Nebraska, where one of the state’s five electoral votes could be in play in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District.
Trump’s sprint through the Midwest underscores the challenges he faces in the final week of the campaign – trailing in the polls, outgunned financially by his Democratic challenger and facing an advertising onslaught by outside interests. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has helped bombard the airwaves in Florida where 29 electoral votes are at stake. Bloomberg, who supports Biden, has committed at least $100 million to Florida, and on Tuesday, announced he would pump $15 million into advertising in Texas and Ohio, two other states Trump carried in 2016.
As it marshals its resources, the Trump campaign has cut its own advertising reservations by a net total of about $14 million and replaced them with new coordinated buys from the campaign and the Republican National Committee totaling about $12 million.
In all, Biden and the Democratic National Committee are set to outspend Trump and the RNC by about $39 million to $24 million over the final week of the campaign.
Trump campaign officials insist they have the resources to compete effectively, noting they are currently advertising on television nationally and in a dozen states. And they say their ground operation will help them prevail November 3.
“Biden’s decision to put all of his resources on TV and not invest in the ground game was a huge advantage for this campaign,” Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller said this week.
“Getting a voter who is used to voting at the polls on Election Day to vote via absentee, as the Democrats are trying to do, is really hard,” he said, referring to the millions of voters casting ballots by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic. “A TV ad doesn’t do that. A TV ad doesn’t move a voter to change their voting habits: a grassroots staffer does, a door-knocker does.”