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Monday, September 28, 2020

Big money flows to Trump to counter Bloomberg

The newest super PAC supporting Donald Trump’s reelection has spent more than $80 million in the last month, providing a badly needed boost to the president as his campaign faces a cash crunch and he confronts an avalanche of liberal money.

Preserve America, an outfit that has the backing of GOP megadonors, has suddenly become one of the biggest outside group spenders of the 2020 campaign. Its most recent investment is a $25 million TV ad buy featuring a Kenosha, Wisconsin man accusing Democrat Joe Biden of refusing to stand up to rioters who burned down his small business.

The infusion has given Trump some cover as an array of liberal super PACs descend on swing states. Billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has launched a $100 million blitz in Florida – a massive sum for a single state.

But Biden’s advertising advantage over Trump is more concerning for the president. Biden out-paced Trump more than 2-to-1 on the airwaves last week, according to the media tracking firm Advertising Analytics.

Preserve America officials have declined to name their donors, which will be revealed in campaign finance filings next month. But senior Republicans have said they expect the group to receive funding from Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.

Adelson, the Republican Party’s most prominent giver, has a long history of cutting seven- and eight-figure checks to super PACs in the closing months of elections. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, have given $50 million to Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC devoted to protecting the Republican majority in the upper congressional chamber. The couple also gave $20 million to a pro-Trump group during the final weeks of the 2016 campaign.

Preserve America is overseen by Chris LaCivita, a veteran Republican strategist who orchestrated the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attack ad campaign against John Kerry in 2004. This year, the super PAC has aired a mix of commercials focusing on policing, national security, and the economy, each spotlighting testimonials from everyday people.

“Joe Biden won’t rebuild our economy, he’ll burn it down,” the Wisconsin man, Terry Nelson, says in the new ad.

The spot will begin running later this week in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It will air for two weeks.

Preserve America has spent $68 million on TV commercials so far, with another $12 million on digital ads.

Republican donors decided to launch the new pro-Trump super PAC amid ongoing concerns about the principal organization supporting the president, America First Action.

Still, America First Action and its allied non-profit, America First Policies, have also spent heavily. According to Advertising Analytics, the two groups have poured nearly $67 million into commercials since April. The highest-spending group backing Biden is Future Forward, which has aired $57 million worth of TV ads.

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