Bloomberg’s rise in Texas

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Michael Bloomberg’s astronomical spending on advertising in the Lone Star State appears to be paying off.

A Dallas Morning News-UT Tyler poll released on Sunday shows the billionaire former New York City mayor garnering 16% of the support among Democrats in Texas. He’s tied with Elizabeth Warren. 

Bloomberg has been in the presidential race for a little over two months. Warren announced her presidential bid almost a year ago. 

Nationally Bloomberg’s polling average hovers around 9 percent. 

Bloomberg’s rise is a result of a large campaign operation in the state and a unrelenting barrage — costing an unprecedented $24 million — of TV ads taking on President Trump and touting his policy reforms. Digitally, the campaign has spent a whopping $1.2 million on Facebook ads, according to Bully Pulpit Interactive.

Texas hasn’t gotten this much presidential primary love, maybe ever, or at least in decades. That’s in part because Team Bloomberg is skipping the traditional early voting states — perhaps a good decision considering the still-unresolved debacle from Monday night’s voting in Iowa —and making a gambit on delegate-rich Super Tuesday states, like Texas. (It’s also because Trump is underwater here.)

Iowa elections officials say they plan to announce the results of their caucuses later today. Whatever the outcome, however, the meta-impact of Iowa is questionable. As Ryan Rusak wrote in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram this morning, “Iowa isn’t about delegates; there aren’t enough available there to matter much in the race. It’s about expectations. And with results that will forever be in question, Iowa just won’t have much of an impact.” 

Early voting in Texas begins in less than two weeks, a reality, Rusak says, could make Texas have “more meaning”  in the primary process.

It remains to be seen whether Bloomberg can overcome Joe Biden’s front-runner status in Texas or Bernie Sanders’ enthusiasm among young voters. The former Vice President is leading the Vermont senator by 17 points in the state, according to the UT Tyler poll. 

But as Bloomberg has shown, he can make up a lot of ground in a short amount of time.

Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hudson River Park

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