The Sunshine State presents some balmy opportunities to pick up a handful of traditional GOP seats – many of which were recently redrawn - such as FL-27, a Miami-area seat which is now open after longtime Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen announced her retirement.
South Florida – oftentimes referred to as New York City’s sixth borough - has a special place in Bloomberg’s heart and he will be eyeing a few valuable pick-ups in the Greater Miami area. Look for Bloomberg to direct resources to FL-26, considered a toss-up by most national oddsmakers, as well as FL-18 and FL-25, which will force the GOP to play defense in seats they felt Democrats wouldn’t aggressively go after.
In addition to these lucky 13 seats, look for Bloomberg money to appear in contests where self-identified Independent voters play an outsized role in elections – places such as Colorado, Maine, Washington state, and Oregon.
But don’t be surprised if close to half of Bloomberg’s money stays close to home, to lock down seats in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and upstate New York. Overall, we expect Bloomberg to invest in over 40 races nationally, to try to ensure that Democrats don’t once again botch winnable elections, and to put the House firmly in Democratic hands.
One interesting wrinkle in this story is whether all the candidates who stand to benefit from Bloomberg’s munificence will embrace it with open arms.
Dean Phillips, the Democratic challenger who is vying to remove five-term incumbent Eric Paulsen in Minnesota’s 3rd congressional district has made campaign finance reform a hallmark theme in his race.
“Getting big money out of politics has been among my top priorities, and in fact, I’ve challenged my opponent to join me in signing a mutual pledge to prevent outside spending in this race,” said Phillips. But how much the Phillips campaign will protest if Bloomberg’s money ends up excoriating his opponent in the final months of the campaign remains to be seen.
Arick Wierson is a six-time Emmy Award-winning television executive and former deputy commissioner under New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Currently, Wierson works as a political and branding consultant to clients in the United States, Africa and Latin America. You can follow him on twitter
Bill Hillsman is an author, an expert on Independent voters, and a 30-year veteran corporate and political adman who has engineered some of the biggest upsets in American political history including electing Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura (I) and US Senator Paul Wellstone (D). He is the president and chief creative officer of North Woods Advertising. You can follow him on twitter