Another target was Michael R. Bloomberg, a long time rival from New York who had no compunction contrasting his wealth with Mr. Trump’s.
On Tuesday, as polls opened in 14 states, Mr. Trump attempted a directive to voters in Texas and Oklahoma: “Mini Mike Bloomberg will kill your drilling, fracking and pipelines,” he wrote. “Petroleum based ‘anything’ is dead. Energy jobs gone. Don’t vote for Mini Mike!”
Mr. Bloomberg’s withdrawal from the race on Wednesday morning may provide Mr. Trump with a small measure of comfort. But it also presents a looming challenge for his campaign, as Mr. Bloomberg has promised to spend $1 billion to help the Democratic nominee and immediately threw his support to Mr. Biden.
But Mr. Bloomberg was not the main concern of Mr. Trump and his advisers. For months, they fanned the flames about Mr. Biden’s younger son, Hunter, and his work for Burisma, a problem-plagued energy company in Ukraine. That effort that was central to the impeachment inquiry into whether Mr. Trump tried to pressure Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens in exchange for releasing military aid.
The damage to Mr. Trump was obvious, but the former vice president’s candidacy also suffered in the process. His poll standing fell as he struggled to answer questions from reporters and voters about his son.
But the revival of Mr. Biden — who was buoyed by black voters, a core Democratic Party constituency, in several states — illustrates the limits of Mr. Trump’s influence.
“I think Democratic primary voters are numbing to Trump’s buffoonery — black voters in particular,” said Addisu Demissie, who managed Senator Cory Booker’s presidential campaign. “They are the ones who have breathed life back into Biden’s campaign and, if anything, they may relish seeing Biden take him down.”
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