Bloomberg to spend millions on voter registration campaign

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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is set to spend millions on a voter registration drive as he seriously considers entering the 2020 Democratic primary field.

Bloomberg is rolling out an estimated $15 million to $20 million to finance the registration campaign, which will target voters in five battleground states. The hefty investment comes after the former mayor announced a $100 million online advertising campaign attacking President Trump in four general election swing states.

“Mike is taking the fight directly to Trump where it matters most, in general election battleground states,” Bloomberg spokesman Jason Schechter told The Hill. “He did it last week through a $100 million digital ad buy. He’s doing it this week at the ballot box.”

The voter registration effort, which will begin early next year, is set to target 500,000 voters from groups that traditionally support Democratic candidates, including African Americans, Latinos, Asians, young voters and those living in some rural communities. The drive will start in the states of Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin but could expand to other states.

Trump won all five states in 2016, though Democrats are hoping to put up strong showings in all five and flip at least a few into their column next year. 

“If Mike runs, we’re going to try to do what we can to run two campaigns simultaneously,” Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson told The Associated Press, which was the first to report the drive.

“One campaign is a primary campaign — and there are a lot of great people in that contest and a lot of focus and activity around that,” he added. “But at the same time, there’s another campaign going on that the president has begun that ends in November that also needs to be engaged. And one of the arguments that we would make on behalf of Mike to primary voters is he is able to wage these two campaigns simultaneously — effectively and simultaneously.”

Bloomberg has filed paperwork to appear as a candidate in a small handful of Democratic primary races next year. Though he has yet to make an official decision to enter the field, he is expected to do so in the coming days.

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