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Joe Biden’s first major television ads are hitting the airwaves, and they’re running in Florida

The commercials will run in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville and reach Spanish-speaking Floridians too.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden arrives for a meeting with small business owners, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, in Yeadon, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden arrives for a meeting with small business owners, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, in Yeadon, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) [ MATT SLOCUM | AP ]
Published Jun. 18, 2020

The presidential campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden is targeting Floridians in the first major advertising blitz of the general election.

Biden’s campaign announced Thursday a $15 million, six-week ad buy in six critical states in the November election: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona. These are all states President Donald Trump won in 2016 and where his re-election fight is likely to focus in the coming months.

“The country is crying out for leadership,” Biden says in one of the ads. “Leadership that can unite us. Leadership that brings us together. That’s what the presidency is. The duty to care.”

Biden also has plans for Spanish-language ads to air in Florida and Arizona, and on Friday, which is Juneteenth, the campaign plans to run ads aimed at African American voters in the Sunshine State.

In a memo about the ad strategy first reported by the New York Times, Biden’s director of paid media said the goal in Florida is “establishing a presence in the Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville markets” and will include outreach in the Panhandle “to get in front of white working-class voters who moved from Obama in ’12 to Trump in ’16 as well as open a conversation with the African American voters in the Panhandle who will be crucial to mobilize early, and often.”

The ads follow a strong fundraising push by Biden, who reported $80 million in campaign contributions in May, and a spate of recent polls that show Biden competitive, if not leading, in many swing states, including Florida.

The Trump campaign has been airing television ads in Florida for most of 2020 while Biden competed in the crowded primary campaign for the Democratic nomination. The New York Times, citing an ad tracking company, reported that Trump has already spent $22.7 million on television commercials to date.