Mike Bloomberg has a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time. As the newest addition to the Democratic primary race, the former NYC mayor needs to get some endorsements to prove that he belongs in the race.
Many have been wondering what Bloomberg hopes to gain by running. He came in months after most of the other candidates. While he has a bit of added name recognition in comparison to some of the other candidates, he’s nowhere near the fundraising efforts or the polling status of Warren, Biden, Sanders or even Buttigieg.
However, the lack of time in the primaries hasn’t stopped Bloomberg from doing what he does best – conning people out of their money. He’s been fundraising from coast to coast and securing endorsements along the way.
His first big accomplishment is securing an endorsement from California.
With Kamala Harris out of the race, Bloomberg is setting his sights on California as opposed to Iowa where most of his competition is targeting.
Sam Liccardo, San Jose Mayor, has chosen to give his endorsement to Mike Bloomberg. He was a former supporter of Harris and has been a key leader in Silicon Valley. He will be the campaign co-chair in California for the Democratic candidate.
Bloomberg’s campaign will be hitting California heavily throughout the week, though trip details are not yet available. California voters have been seeing Bloomberg’s face and message heavily in the past two weeks, particularly due to an impressive $58 million ad buy. This is the most that any of the delegates have spent across 15 states and territories, with March 3 marking the date for Super Tuesday elections.
Liccardo is the leader of the third-largest city in California, following Los Angeles and San Diego. He was an early endorser of Harris and was extremely disappointed to see her withdraw from the race. With Liccardo sending his endorsement to Bloomberg, it begs the question of whether other endorsements that Harris received will be passed on to Bloomberg as well.
The San Jose Mayor is considered one of the most tech-savvy Democrats. This is a considerable endorsement for Bloomberg to achieve. Bloomberg has already started to show his plan – sidestepping some of the early contest states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. He plans to spend millions of campaign cash in some of the other states, including California.
According to Kevin Sheekey, the campaign manager for Bloomberg, Liccardo, and Bloomberg have a similar stance on a number of critical issues, including climate. Sheekey identifies that they are playing to win and California is an important part of that success.
The San Jose mayor identifies that Bloomberg can bring his experience as chief executive of New York City to tackle some of America’s toughest urban problems. He says that mayors have to “solve problems and get things done.” However, many people question just how much Bloomberg has been able to accomplish in New York City – bringing that uncertainty to his role as president.
A poll conducted by the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies shows that Bloomberg is facing a number of challenges. Approximately 2% of America is supporting him in the 2020 race. Additionally, he has a high rating of unfavorability with 40% of likely Democratic primary voters saying that they have a negative opinion of him.
The former NYC mayor is no stranger to campaigning in California. However, the Democratic mayor actually endorsed Republican Meg Whitman, a former eBay executive, and billionaire during her 2010 gubernatorial race against Jerry Brown. Bloomberg identified Whitman as his kind of candidate and that the state of California was “lucky to have her.” Whitman lost to Democrat Brown decisively. Additionally, the fact that he endorsed a Republican is likely to come back against him as he fights his way through California.
If Mike Bloomberg wants any chance of getting ahead in the polls and proving that he’s a frontrunner, he’s got a long way to go. California is just one state – and as Trump proved in the 2016 elections, it still requires winning a large number of states instead of just the popular vote. Bloomberg may need to think about this as the Democrats haven’t gotten rid of the Electoral College yet. The popular vote is nice to win, but he’s going to need more than the voters of California to vote for him if he wants to have the opportunity to go head-to-head with Trump in the general election. Until then, he may be able to clean up and get all of Harris’ leftovers.