Thursday, November 07, 2019


The Northeast Corridor media is treating this as big news:
Michael R. Bloomberg is actively preparing to enter the Democratic presidential primary and is expected to file paperwork this week designating himself as a candidate in at least one state with an early filing deadline, people briefed on Mr. Bloomberg’s plans said.

Mr. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and billionaire businessman, has been privately weighing a bid for the White House for weeks and has not yet made a final decision on whether to run, an adviser said. But in the first sign that he is seriously moving toward a campaign, Mr. Bloomberg has dispatched staffers to Alabama to gather signatures to qualify for the primary there. Though Alabama does not hold an early primary, it has a Friday deadline for candidates to formally enter the race.
That's from The New York Times. I'd block-quote the next paragraph of the Times story, but I'll just give you Oliver Willis's gloss on it, which is exactly right:

If you're in the media and you're New York, you think Bloomberg is a household name nationwide because he's a household name here. He was mayor for twelve years. All your college buddies who went to Wall Street get news from a dedicated financial computer terminal they call "the Bloomberg." You seriously think his entry into the race is like Oprah or Michelle Obama getting in.

This is one time when I think people in the media should get out of their bubble. Bloomberg is not famous nationwide. When he's polled, more people don't know who he is than like him or dislike him. He's basically Tom Steyer, except Eastern, so he gets \ more media coverage. He's also sour-tempered and uncharismatic -- you know, a perfect candidate for the party of Barack Obama and JFK.

Why on earth would Bloomberg "present a grave and instantaneous threat" to Biden? Much of Biden's support comes from voters who like his ordinary-guy stories about Scranton. Bloomberg didn't grow up rich, but he wears his elitism proudly. In New York City, we're used to that. In Iowa? Nobody wants that. And Bloomberg is highly unlikely to cut into Biden's strong support among black voters, given his continued advocacy for stop-and-frisk.

Sure, Bloomberg will spend a buttload of money. Tom Steyer is doing that, too -- he's already spent more than $35 million on TV ads, which is nearly six times as much as the rest of the field combined.

And what's it gotten him? According to Real Clear Politics, Steyer is at 0.9% nationwide. He's at 2.8% in Iowa, 2.7% in New Hampshire, 3.5% in Nevada, 4.5% in South Carolina, 0.8% in California.

If anything, I think Bloomberg poses "a grave and instantaneous threat" to Steyer, and maybe Andrew Yang. Quite possibly Pete Buttigieg, who's also running a Brooks Brothers campaign. Not Biden.

Bloomberg will take a few votes from those guys and Amy Klobuchar. Maybe he'll take a tiny bit from Biden. And I suppose Morning Joe will now go all Bloomberg, all the time, for all that matters to actual voters.

I suppose this is what he's thinking:

No, I don't think he can get to 15%, the minimum needed to score a delegate, in any state.

He'll be out by Super Tuesday -- and we just have to hope that he doesn't get it into his head to run third party. If he does, he could muster just enough support in a few Northeast states to make, say, New Jersey or New Hampshire easier for Trump to win. It's a ridiculous distraction.

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