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October 27, 2020

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is reportedly funding last-minute ad campaigns in two states where Democrats see "opportunities to expand the map," including Texas.

Through his Super PAC, Bloomberg is funding television ad campaigns in Texas and Ohio expected to cost about $15 million, The New York Times reports. Aide Howard Wolfson explained to the Times that the former mayor conducted polling to find President Trump's potential vulnerabilities and decided on Texas and Ohio for this last-minute push. Bloomberg has already said he will spend $100 million to support Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Florida.

"We believe that Florida will go down to the wire, and we were looking for additional opportunities to expand the map,” Wolfson told the Times. "Texas and Ohio present the best opportunities to do that, in our view."

The Times notes that a poll it published this week showed Trump with a lead of only four percentage points over Biden in Texas, and Wolfson told the Times that Bloomberg's polling suggests the race is even closer.

Meanwhile, NBC News on Tuesday morning released its latest battleground map, and Texas has been moved from "Lean Republican" to "Toss Up." Ohio is also still in the "Toss Up" category.

The NBC map shows Biden with 279 electoral votes, and NBC News' Mark Murray writes that while that math is "not impossible" for Trump, it is "daunting." Brendan Morrow

June 12, 2019

A Republican group plans to spend millions of dollars in Texas as some within the party fear the state could actually be at risk in 2020, The Washington Examiner reports.

Engage Texas, a new political nonprofit organization led by a wealthy Republican campaign contributor, plans to spend $25 million by next November to register more than a million new GOP voters in the state, the report says. Top Texas Republicans and party insiders reportedly believe this group may be "critical" in 2020.

This comes as some Republicans have suggested Trump could be in for a tough re-election fight in Texas, even though a Democratic candidate for president hasn't won the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Trump won it in 2016 by nine points. But Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) had previously expressed some concern about the state in 2020 while Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey told the Examiner that "the challenges we face in Texas are very real."

In 2018, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke came surprisingly close to defeating Sen. Ted Crux (R-Texas); it was the first Texas Senate race to come down to a single-digit margin since 1978, The Associated Press reports. Democrats also won two seats in the House of Representatives. Cornyn, who is up for re-election next year, noted to the Examiner that in 2018, "we got hammered not only in the urban areas but in the suburbs, too."

And although it's still quite early in the race, some recent polls may give the Trump campaign cause for concern, with one survey from Quinnipiac showing former Vice President Joe Biden beating the president in the state by four points. With this in mind, one pollster offered the president a warning against ignoring Texas, telling the Examiner, "For Trump, Texas is like Wisconsin was for Clinton." Brendan Morrow

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