One ad currently running in Michigan, for instance, tells a story about the state’s shrinking share of the American economy. “Trump promised Michigan he’d bring back all the jobs, but his trade war has killed 300,000 so far,” it reads.
The group is not booking ads in every market in those four states. In Florida, for instance, Miami is missing, as are Tallahassee and Jacksonville. In Pennsylvania, the initial list of reservations does not include Philadelphia.
“Whenever you get into bigger markets, they just become less efficient,” Mr. Cecil said of TV ads, adding that there would be digital campaigns in those markets.
The most television money was being booked in Florida ($12.6 million) and its 29 electoral votes, the biggest bounty of any swing state. But Mr. Cecil said the three Midwestern states — each of which would have between $5.8 million and $6 million in initial reservations — were most likely to serve as the general election tipping point.
“These states are so close that when we do projection updates, the tipping-point state can change between Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin,” he said.
The single largest market for the Priorities USA television ads will be Tampa, Fla., with nearly $5 million. “Tampa, in almost every election for the last decade, has had the largest number of persuadable voters in Florida,” Mr. Cecil said.
But he warned against preconceptions about what those 2020 swing voters look like.
“When people hear ‘persuasion,’ they think white working class or Obama-Trump voters,” he said. “But in Florida, one out of every five Hispanic voters is a persuasion target.”