Let me be clear. I am not bullish on the chances that Mike Bloomberg, three-time New York City mayor and Mary Poppins of the nanny state can win the Democratic nomination. His extremely unlikely plan includes ignoring the early votes in Iowa and New Hampshire, and hoping that by Super Tuesday the polls are still divided and nervous Democrats are still lukewarm on the current candidates.
But if this bet, in which he has already put 200 million dollars in the pot has any viability, last night’s Democratic debate could not have gone better for Bloomberg. In fact it was almost a blueprint of his strategy. The big story was Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders calling each other liars and generally acting like the Bickersons. This is important because Mike 2020 is counting on a scenario in which those candidates’ progressive supporters continue to hate each other and fail to form a block behind one of them.
As far as Joe Biden goes, he was fine. He’s always fine. He continues to paint himself as the safe choice an heir to Democratic hero Barack Obama. But while his steady lead has been impressive, it hasn’t grown much. He’s not attracting bevies of new voters, but rather counting on the black vote to carry him to slow and steady victory. This at least gives Bloomberg some time for his money to percolate.
Neither Sen. Amy Klobuchar nor Pete Buttigieg did much of note last night. Combined they are polling nationally at about 10 percent, but both feel like they have peaked. Bloomberg meanwhile has risen to 6.2 percent moving up in recent weeks. Since Buttigieg and Klobuchar are using the exact opposite strategy of Bloomberg, namely score an early win that can propel them, if that doesn’t happen they could be gone sooner rather than later, leaving their supporters poachable.
Tom Steyer was Tom Steyer.
While he wasn’t on the stage last night, Bloomberg’s campaign team engaged in a bizarre flurry of tweets.
Now that my team @mike2020 has your attention, I think it’s important that you see what @realDonaldTrump said to voters in Wisconsin tonight.
Battleground states like Wisconsin will decide the 2020 election.
This is not a joke.https://t.co/ktFPQCIeqe pic.twitter.com/74GoaKId1z
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) January 15, 2020