The Troubles of Bloomberg's Presence for Democrats

TEHRAN, Nov. 12 (MNA) – Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has not yet formally announced his participation in the upcoming US presidential election. However, people like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden appear to be worried about his possible run in the election.

Here's a look at some of Bloomberg's polls:

Bloomberg tops Trump by 6 points in hypothetical matchup: poll

As the Hill reported,Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg leads President Trump by 6 percentage points in a hypothetical 2020 match-up, a new poll shows.Bloomberg, who on Friday filed as a Democratic presidential candidate in Alabama but has not announced an official campaign, leads Trump, 43 to 37 percent with 21 percent unsure, according to the Morning Consult/Politico survey released early Sunday.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) leads Trump, 45 to 40 percent with 16 percent unsure. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) leads the president, 45 to 39 percent with 15 percent unsure, and former Vice President Joe Biden leads him, 44  to 40 percent with 16 percent unsure. The survey has a 3-point margin of error for the head-to-head matchups.

Pollsters also found, however, that Bloomberg pulls 4 percent support in the crowded Democratic field, and has the highest disapprovals of any candidate, with 25 percent. His net favorability is highest among primary voters 65 or older and those who identify as conservative, and lowest among self-identified independents and those aged 18-29.The poll, conducted Nov. 8 among 2,225 voters considering voting in their respective state primary or caucus, shows Biden continuing to lead the Democratic field with 31 percent, followed by Sanders with 20 percent and Warren with 18 percent.

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with 8 percent, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), with 6 percent, round out the top five.Those results have a 2-point margin of error. If he enters the race, observers expect Bloomberg to skip the early contests, and run in the “Super Tuesday” primaries.

Democrats aren’t sure Bloomberg should run for president

As Vox reported, A new poll found Bloomberg would have 4 percent support and would be the most unpopular Democratic candidate if he were to enter the race now. Billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering entering the Democratic presidential primary, and though he has not yet declared his candidacy, he has not received a warm welcome to the race from current candidates, particularly those concerned another billionaire, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, may have tried to recruit Bloomberg to the race.

Bloomberg hasn’t formally announced he’s running, but he filed paperwork to run in the Alabama primary on Friday. One of Bloomberg’s advisors tweeted Bloomberg is considering a run because he’s “increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned” to beat Trump in the general election.

Recode’s Jason Del Rey reported Saturday Bloomberg also faced some peer pressure — Bezos reportedly called Bloomberg months ago and asked if he would run. The former mayor told his fellow billionaire at that time he would not.But news of the call galvanized progressives in the race, particularly those who have made concerns about wealth inequality central to their campaigns.Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was campaigning with one of his key surrogates — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — in Iowa, told supporters, “You’re not going to buy this election by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on media in California.”Ocasio-Cortez later told reporters, “They’ve got class solidarity. The billionaires are looking out for each other. They’re willing to transcend difference and background and even politics.”

And Sanders echoed that sentiment, saying, “Jeff Bezos, worth $150 billion, supporting Mike Bloomberg, whose worth only $50 billion, that’s real class solidarity.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has called for taxing assets over $1 billion at 6 percent, also skewered Bloomberg following reports of the call, writing on Twitter, “One billionaire calls another billionaire and asks him to run for president—I’m shocked!” She also linked to a wealth calculator showing how much billionaires would pay under her proposed wealth tax (there’s a button where visitors can choose to be Bloomberg, among others).

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the candidate whose campaign is perhaps most similar to what Bloomberg’s would be like, did not respond to the story, but did tell reporters in New Hampshire Friday, that he was unperturbed by a Bloomberg run, adding: “In terms of he’s running because of me, the last polls I looked at, I’m pretty far ahead.”

Early polling around Bloomberg’s potential run bears that out. Should he enter the race now, the billionaire would be the sixth-favorite Democratic candidate — polling at 4 percent, below Kamala Harris and above Andrew Yang — according to a survey released Sunday by Morning Consult.

Potentially complicating his ability to expand on that showing is the fact pollsters found Bloomberg to be more disliked by Democratic primary voters than any other candidate. He was, however, found to be about as likely to beat President Donald Trump as Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders.

These early results suggest his entrance to the race would likely have little effect beyond creating a new foil for candidates like Warren and Sanders, and perhaps an alternative for moderate voters not yet sold on Biden.

Bloomberg’s candidacy may hurt Biden, while helping Warren and Sanders

As Vox’s Emily Stewart reported, Bloomberg has long considered a bid for the White House. Which party might take him there, he’s been less certain about:

He contemplated running as an independent in 2016 but ultimately decided against it out of concern it might result in a Donald Trump victory. (Trump won anyway.) Though he has previously identified as a Democrat, Republican, and independent, Bloomberg switched his party affiliation back to the Democrats in 2018 and has become a backer of the party. He donated millions of dollars to Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterms.

He’s been vocal about his support for passing gun control legislation and said it’s high time for “acting boldly” against climate change, but he’s not a fan of proposals put forward by Warren and Sanders like a wealth tax or Medicare-for-all.So Bloomberg would run as a centrist candidate, who would compete directly with candidates positioning themselves as moderates like Biden and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

But when Biden said he’s still far ahead of his competitors, he was right — the Morning Consult poll indicated he had 31 percent support among Democratic primary voters, well above runner up Sanders at 20 percent. And although his rivals have bested him in some state polls, Biden nevertheless is at the top of most national polls, averaging around 28 percent support according to RealClearPolitics. One issue Biden may face is that recent polling has shown support — particularly in Iowa — is soft, meaning a challenger could siphon off voters, and as Vox’s Matthew Yglesias has explained, this causes a Bloomberg run to be a problem for the former vice president:

The key is that in recent years moderates who’ve successfully fended off the left wing of the Democratic Party have done so with the support of black and Latino voters, who tend to be more moderate on the whole than white Democrats. But Bloomberg’s specific political career gives him little access to this constituency and thus little hope of securing the nomination.

What he can do is compete with Biden (and to an extent Pete Buttigieg) for the votes of white moderates and thus further boost the left’s odds of prevailing.Biden is very well-known, has support from older, working-class Democrats, and has more multiracial support than Bloomberg does. So the former mayor pulling voters away from Biden won’t make a Bloomberg victory more likely, Yglesias wrote, but it could lead to a win by Warren or Sanders.

If Bloomberg were to join the race, he would do so late: He has said he doesn’t plan to campaign in early caucus and primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Instead, he would focus on Super Tuesday to “start on an even footing” with other candidates, advisor Howard Wolfson said.One 2020 candidate is rooting for Bloomberg, however. While his fellow Democrats welcomed him with a little side-eye, his former constituent, President Donald Trump told reporters Friday Bloomberg would be an ideal rival because he “doesn’t have the magic to do well.”

“Little Michael will fail,” Trump said. “There is nobody I’d rather run against than Little Michael, that I can tell you.”

Poll: Bloomberg's potential run is a flop with voters so far

Also politico reported that Michael Bloomberg is running at 4 percent nationally as he teases a presidential bid, showing that he's well known — but widely disliked — by the Democratic electorate, according to a new poll.

The Morning Consult poll, released Sunday, reflects the enormous challenge confronting Bloomberg as he considers a late entry into the 2020 race. He sits in sixth place, just behind Sen. Kamala Harris of California, and would begin his campaign far outside the top tier.

Nearly 25 percent of likely primary voters view him unfavorably — the highest unfavorable rating in the field — while about 31 percent view him favorably, according to the poll.In contrast, nearly three-quarters of Democratic primary voters view Joe Biden favorably, compared to about 18 percent who hold an unfavorable opinion of him.Biden, the former vice president, continues to lead the primary contest nationally, with about 31 percent support. He is followed by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, at about 20 percent and 18 percent, respectively, according to the poll.

And though Bloomberg performs well in a hypothetical matchup against Donald Trump — leading him 43 percent to 37 percent — Biden, Warren and Sanders outpace the Republican president by between 4 percentage points and 6 percentage points, too. “In terms of he’s running because of me, the last polls I looked at, I’m pretty far ahead,” Biden told reporters in New Hampshire on Friday. “If I’m not mistaken, I’m doing pretty well both relative to Trump and relative to all the people running in the Democratic primary."

National polling is often discounted by candidates focused more narrowly on early nominating states. But it is especially significant to Bloomberg, who does not plan to campaign aggressively in the first four states, but instead focus on the broader swath of states voting on Super Tuesday.

Bloomberg has not yet said definitively if he will run, and his supporters believe that the money he could immediately pour into advertising if he does could move public opinion. The contest remains unsettled less than three months before the Iowa caucuses, potentially helping a newcomer.It was only recently that South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg “suddenly became a player,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York-based Democratic strategist who worked on Bloomberg’s last mayoral campaign.

“Bloomberg is a very smart guy who calculates very clearly,” Scheinkopf said. “No one thought he would win the New York City mayoralty. He did. Nobody thought he could win a third term. He did.”

Even a losing run could reshape the dynamics of the race. Bloomberg could claw moderate support from Biden if he becomes a serious contender. Or, if he runs but does not crack the top tier, his candidacy could help Biden by spending on messaging against causes championed by more progressive Democrats in the race.“Thus far in the primary we’ve seen really a race to the fringe — who could be the most progressive, almost a game of one-upmanship,” said Colin Strother, a veteran Democratic strategist. “What we haven’t talked a lot about is electability … That basically seems to be his rationale for even entertaining this idea.”

“This is a big boon for the Joe Bidens of the world,” Strother said. “This is good for the Amy Klobuchars of the world. It’s going to be bad for the Bernies and the Warrens.”

One Democratic manager of Senate and House campaigns said of Bloomberg’s entry into the race, “He’s basically Biden’s Super PAC.”

By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.Bloomberg has called Warren’s wealth tax “probably unconstitutional,” slammed Medicare for All and called free college tuition “totally impractical.” And as Bloomberg began making overtures last week, Sanders and Warren greeted him with sharp elbows.“The billionaire class is scared and they should be scared,” Sanders wrote on Twitter.

Bloomberg has deep connections in Democratic Party circles and has spent heavily for Democratic causes and candidates. He and his aligned entities have poured millions of dollars into elections and ballot measures across the country in recent years, and Bloomberg remains a fixture in the gun control and climate change movements, two major priorities of Democratic voters.

Yet even before the latest poll, there was little evidence of any clamoring among Democrats for a 77-year-old billionaire to join the race. Early polling by Morning Consult, in February, showed 14 percent of Democratic voters would definitely not vote for Bloomberg — the highest percentage of any candidate surveyed.The latest poll, conducted Friday, included 5,387 registered voters, including 2,225 Democratic primary voters, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.

Hallelujah. In Michael Bloomberg, Democrats have just what they need: another presidential candidate who was alive when Harry Truman occupied the White House. The former New York mayor and billionaire business tycoon is 77.

Until Trump's victory in 2016, Americans had never elected a president who was 70 upon entering office. The age of the world's most powerful person is critically important, and most voters acknowledge it. Yet in the 2020 campaign the issue is largely ignored. Why? 

Back on Oct. 1 when 78-year-old Bernie Sanders suffered a heart attack, it set off a flurry of worry about aging politicians. But just a couple of weeks later, with the Vermont senator looking robust and his usual frisky self in a three-hour debate, opinion flipped. Sanders, many said, was living proof that age doesn't matter. In truth, neither Sanders' heart incident nor his declaration soon after that "I am back!" changed anything about the physical and mental odds facing older candidates. 

We tend to evaluate politicians' fitness to serve based on the image they present in public. By that measure Sanders looks vigorous now that he's back on the trail; Sen. Elizabeth Warren (70) bounds around the stage with pep in her steps; Trump (73) seems tireless delivering lengthy speeches at campaign rallies, and former vice president Joe Biden (76) appears lean and fit. 

Then again, just a few days before being stricken in Las Vegas, Sanders seemed as healthy as ever. Trump's tan-from-a-bottle might help project an image of physical well-being but his actions in office have prompted many to question his mental health. Biden has fumbled badly in campaign appearances, placing his cognitive faculties in doubt. Only Warren, youngest of the leading septuagenarians, shows no outward signs of aging, but even she is at a point in life when the odds turn against you. 

It’s not surprising that Trump supporters aren’t focusing on the president’s age. With impeachment proceedings dominating the news and the White House staff unraveling, age becomes the kind of thing the late George Carlin spoke of in his comedy weather forecast when he said: The radar is picking up Russian ICBMs, so I wouldn't sweat the thundershowers. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren at a Democratic debate on Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio.

On the Democratic side, the goal of defeating Trump is so dominant that little else seems to matter. When Pew researchers asked Democratic voters about age, 97% said it would be better to have a presidential candidate younger than 70. Yet, the Real Clear Politics polling average shows about two-thirds of Democratic primary voters supporting candidates 70 or older — Biden, Warren and Sanders.This disconnect might be due to voters’ understanding that people do age differently. They see vibrant public servants like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (79) and Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (86) and dismiss concerns about the age of presidential contenders. 

Yet, the science of aging is clear-cut regarding factors that affect a president’s ability to serve. As people grow older their ability to multitask diminishes, as does their recall of new or recently learned information. Here is one particularly pointed observation from a paper on aging by the noted author Dr. Diane B. Howieson: “Older adults tend to be slower in conceptualizing problems and less ready to change strategies when circumstances shift.” How would that work in the Situation Room?

Former President Jimmy Carter, a marvel of clear-headedness at 95, said recently that by the time he reached 80, “I don’t believe I could undertake the duties that I experienced when I was president. For one thing you had to be very flexible with your mind. You had to be able to go from one subject to another and concentrate on each one adequately and then put them all together in a comprehensive way.”

Among the things that do improve with age is experience, which is often quantified as “wisdom.” Biden spoke of it in the October debate: “Look, one of the reasons I’m running,” he said, “is because of my age and my experience. With it comes wisdom.” When Sanders was asked about his health and age he said: “We are going to be mounting a vigorous campaign all over this country.” Same question to Warren and a similar answer: “I will out-work, out-organize and outlast anyone.” 

Three predictable responses, none of which addressed the reality about aging that concerns President Carter. How older candidates look and sound today might be a good indicator of how well they would function tomorrow or next month. But current candidates are seeking a term that would end half a decade from now. Maximum age:I'm the same age as Elizabeth Warren. We 70-somethings have no business being president.

Some Democrats would like Biden and Sanders to pledge to only serve one term. A related suggestion that they would be wise to select a significantly younger running mate, who could step in if needed, or move to the top of the ticket after four years. How awful. The process of replacing a president is traumatic for the nation and on the world stage, no matter what the circumstances. And betting that a vice president could move up and win the next election is no sure thing. 

Jimmy Carter believes there should be an age limit for presidents, which sounds like a good idea that comes from wisdom gained by experience. Of course, it’s too late for that sort of thing in the 2020 campaign. But there is time, when the primary-season voting begins in February, to thank the older candidates for their service and turn to someone younger. 

What Michael Bloomberg means for the 2020 Democratic field

Cnn reported that Two things are true about Michael Bloomberg.First, he would very much like to be president -- and has flirted with running multiple times over the past decade.Second, he is not someone who wastes money or time on flights of fancy.

Both of these facts are decidedly relevant when considering the former New York City mayor's reported preparations to make a late entrance into the 2020 Democratic primary race. Yes, Bloomberg is driven by ambition. But, he -- and his team -- see an opportunity. And it's not hard to grasp where that opportunity lies.

Former Vice President Joe Biden's candidacy isn't in a particularly good place these days. Yes, Biden still holds a lead in an aggregate of national polling. But, national polling matters less as we get closer to actual votes in states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

And in polling in both of those states, Biden has fallen behind Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and is in danger of dropping behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, too.That's bad news when you are, like Biden, the best known candidate in the contest. Ask yourself this: If voters in Iowa or New Hampshire aren't for Biden yet -- after eight years as Barack Obama's vice president and 30+ years in the Senate -- then why are they suddenly going to decide they are for him in the 3-ish months between now and the Iowa caucuses?

Compounding Biden's problems is his inability to stay financially competitive with Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg. That trio all ended September with north of $20 million in the bank (Sanders had $33 million) while Biden had less than $9 million in the bank. That sort of cash deficit means Biden will simply not be able to match his rivals on TV (and organizationally) once the race moves beyond the first four states. (A super PAC supporting Biden has cropped up to try to address that deficit.)

With Biden showing all the signs of flagging, the obvious candidate who would benefit is Buttigieg, who has positioned himself in that same pragmatic lane as the former Vice President. And, there are signs -- particularly in Iowa -- that Buttigieg is starting to move upward.

But, there are also doubts about whether or not the establishment wing of the Democratic Party wants to latch itself to a 37-year-old whose biggest job to date has been as mayor of his hometown. Those doubts are centered on the idea that Buttigieg simply cannot beat Warren for the nomination, leaving the party with its most liberal nominee in decades and risking the very real possibility of a 2nd term for President Donald Trump.Enter Bloomberg! An establishment darling with a long record of centrist policy-making -- and he just happens to be a billionaire many times over!

There is no question that Bloomberg's willingness to step into this race -- or at least make preparations to do so -- is rooted, primarily, in Biden's perceived struggles. A strong Biden would make a Bloomberg candidacy virtually impossible given that the very same establishment types who have undoubtedly been whispering in Bloomberg's ear were once whispering those same sweet nothings in Biden's ear.

CNN's Chris Cillizza cuts through the political spin and tells you what you need to know. By subscribing to The Point newsletter, you agree to our privacy policy.Now, that is not to say that Biden and Bloomberg are interchangeable. They aren't. In fact, at least on paper, Biden is stronger -- largely because he has a demonstrated constituency among working class and minority voters. It's hard to see how Bloomberg would, at least initially, have any obvious appeal to either of those groups. (Honestly, it's not at all clear to me what Bloomberg's "natural" constituency is beyond people who watch "Morning Joe" and ride Amtrak's Acela between New York and DC.)

Bloomberg's candidacy is born of the perceived weakness of Biden's run -- and the fear of what a rising Warren would mean for Democratic chances next November. That, Bloomberg believes, has created a realistic opportunity for him to wind up as the nominee -- or at least to have a very real chance at winning.Of course, opportunities may be less than they initially appear -- or disappear before you can seize on them. The question for Bloomberg is whether he's got enough time to turn that window of opportunity into something much larger.

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