Deep pockets and the cost of campaigning has contributed to a cash crunch as Bloomberg’s media buying combines with the scale of the upcoming super-Tuesday media markets. The price of victory is rising with the next two primaries, as the strategy of planning for a brokered convention features in Bloomberg’s campaign.
As with every election, financial attrition will be the key factor. New coalitions are forming as the 2016 lessons seem unlearned, now made noisy again by “socialist” fears and name-calling. In the choice of billionaires, Tom Steyer seems more connected to the grass-roots than Bloomberg, even if that meme of combating Trump with equivalent evil seems existentially necessary.
Unlike the 2020 consolidation of the GOP as a Trumpocrat party, the progressive elements could become further fractured in the Democratic party despite the need to #VoteBlueNoMatterWho.
LAS VEGAS — Mike Bloomberg is privately lobbying Democratic Party officials and donors allied with his moderate opponents to flip their allegiance to him — and block Bernie Sanders — in the event of a brokered national convention.
The effort, largely executed by Bloomberg’s senior state-level advisers in recent weeks, attempts to prime Bloomberg for a second-ballot contest at the Democratic National Convention in July by poaching supporters of Joe Biden and other moderate Democrats, according to two Democratic strategists familiar with the talks and unaffiliated with Bloomberg.
The outreach has involved meetings and telephone calls with supporters of Biden and Pete Buttigieg — as well as uncommitted DNC members — in Virginia, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and North Carolina, according to one of the strategists who participated in meetings and calls.
With Sanders’ emergence as the frontrunner in the presidential primary, Democrats in those states have recently raised the prospect that the democratic socialist could be a top-of-the-ticket liability.
“There’s a whole operation going on, which is genius,” said one of the strategists, who is unaffiliated with any campaign. “And it’s going to help them win on the second ballot … They’re telling them that’s their strategy.”
It’s a presumptuous play for a candidate who hasn’t yet won a delegate or even appeared on a ballot. And it could also bring havoc to the convention, raising the prospect of party insiders delivering the nomination to a billionaire over a progressive populist.
If Sanders secures a plurality of delegates but loses the nomination on a second ballot, many moderate and progressive Democrats alike predict the national convention in Milwaukee would devolve into chaos.
Bloomberg’s effort comes as the prospect of a contested convention becomes less and less remote. That development is in part because of Bloomberg’s own late entry into the race. The billionaire former New York City mayor’s deluge of spending on television advertisements and campaign infrastructure put him into contention, while further muddling the Democratic primary field.x
Mike BloombergÃ¢ÂÂs campaign tweeted a selectively edited video of the Democratic debate in Las Vegas. The clip spliced together unrelated moments of his rivals to make it look like he left them speechless. https://t.co/0OPrT2rUFQ pic.twitter.com/f3napOCnib
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) February 21, 2020
The only group that saw Bloomberg more favorably after the debate: conservative Democratic primary voters.
Heard praise for him on right-wing radio yesterday, particularly over his criticism of SandersÃ¢ÂÂ three houses. https://t.co/k8UInEuedK
— Holly Otterbein (@hollyotterbein) February 21, 2020
Please receive this from someone who fights Trumpism everyday, @MikeBloomberg. When you equate democratic socialism w/ communism, you join Jim CrowÃ¢ÂÂs defenders who called MLK a communist. Debate the issues, but donÃ¢ÂÂt demonize, Mr. Bloomberg.
— Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II (@RevDrBarber) February 21, 2020
The debate exposed BloombergÃ¢ÂÂs downside — but it was there all along. https://t.co/8ehS2EDbJ2
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) February 21, 2020
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 21, 2020