Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is already the favorite presidential candidate for 4 percent of Democratic voters, polling just behind California Senator Kamala Harris and just ahead of Andrew Yang, according to a new survey.
The Morning Consult poll was conducted on Friday and the results were published on Sunday. The survey of Democratic primary voters showed former Vice President Joe Biden with a commanding lead at 31 percent, followed by Senator Bernie Sanders (20 percent), Senator Elizabeth Warren (18 percent), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (8 percent), Senator Kamala Harris (6 percent), and then Bloomberg (4 percent). Yang came in next with 3 percent, followed by Senator Cory Booker at 2 percent.
Although Bloomberg has not formally announced his candidacy for the Democratic party’s 2020 presidential nomination, he filed paperwork to appear on the ballot in Alabama on Friday, as that was the final deadline to do so. The wealthy businessman, worth an estimated $53 billion, stated in March that he did not plan to seek the nomination. At the time, he warned Democrats against dragging “the party to an extreme that would diminish our chances in the general election.”
Despite tentatively throwing his hat into the ring at a relatively late stage, Bloomberg would appear to be entering the race just below the top tier of candidates. The former mayor has long considered a presidential run, having previously explored the possibility in 2008 and 2016 as well.
Viewed as a centrist Democrat, Bloomberg’s potential presidential run would move forward on an unconventional strategy, which would skip over Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, according to The New York Times. Instead, he would focus on the next set of larger states holding early primaries. Associates of the former New York mayor reportedly said that he is considering entering the race as he has been disappointed with the Democratic candidates thus far, feeling that none of them can win against President Donald Trump in the general election.
The Morning Consult poll also found that Bloomberg currently has greater support among voters than Trump. According to the survey, 43 percent of voters would back the former New York mayor, compared to just 37 percent that would back the president. However, Warren, Sanders and Biden are all projected to beat Trump, with Warren also polling with a six point lead, 45 percent to 39 percent. Sanders would win by 5 percent, 45 percent to 40 percent, and Biden would win by just 4 percent, 44 percent to Trump’s 40 percent, the data showed. The poll has a 3 percent – plus or minus – margin of error.
Sanders and Warren have already gone on the offensive against Bloomberg.
“Tonight we say to Michael Bloomberg and other billionaires: Sorry, you’re not going to buy this election,” Sanders, who has long made addressing rapidly growing inequality the central message of his politics, tweeted on Saturday evening.
Warren lobbed similar criticism on Saturday, tweeting an article by Vox reporting that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man in the world, had personally called Bloomberg and asked him to run for president.
“One billionaire calls another billionaire and asks him to run for president—I’m shocked! Here’s the deal: Companies like Amazon have too much power, and billionaires like @JeffBezos and @MikeBloomberg should pitch in so that everyone can succeed,” Warren tweeted.
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