New York City billionaire may jump into the Democratic Presidential campaign

Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg

Former New York City mayor filing to get on the ballot in Alabama.

Posted: Nov 7, 2019 7:10 PM
Updated: Nov 7, 2019 7:12 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, signaling his dissatisfaction with the current crop of candidates vying to take on President Donald Trump.

Bloomberg, who initially ruled out a 2020 run, has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race less than three months before primary voting begins, according to advisers. But he is taking steps toward a campaign, including filing to get on the ballot in Alabama's presidential primary. Alabama has an early filing deadline and is among the states that vote on Super Tuesday, named for the large number of state contests that day.

In a statement on Thursday, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said the former mayor is worried that the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates is "not well positioned" to defeat Trump.

With immense personal wealth, Bloomberg could quickly build out a robust campaign operation across the country. The 77-year-old would pose an immediate ideological challenge to former Vice President Joe Biden, who is running as a moderate and hopes to appeal to independents and Republicans who have soured on Trump. But the billionaire media mogul with deep Wall Street ties could also energize supporters of liberal candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who have railed against income inequality and have vowed to ratchet up taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

"He's a literal billionaire entering the race to keep the progressives from winning," said Rebecca Katz, a New York-based liberal Democratic strategist. "He is the foil."

Bloomberg is a former Republican-turned independent who registered as a Democrat last year. He actively supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 and blasted Trump, his fellow New Yorker, as a con man who overinflates his business success.

Bloomberg has long flirted with a presidential run but never launched a campaign. He seriously considered a 2020 campaign, traveling to early voting states and conducting extensive polling, but ultimately passed in part because of Biden's expected strength in the field. Aides said they did not see room for two moderate contenders in the crowded Democratic primary field.

Bloomberg's decision to reconsider suggests he shares the concerns of other Democrats who are increasingly worried about the former vice president's fundraising and messaging, particularly as Warren's popularity has risen. Although Warren is a favorite of liberals, some Democrats worry that she would struggle to appeal to moderates and Republicans who may be seeking an alternative to Trump.

"There are smart and influential people in the Democratic Party who think a candidate like Bloomberg is needed," said Jennifer Palmieri, a senior adviser to Clinton. "But there is zero evidence that rank-and-file voters in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire feel the same. Absent a desire from voters for a Bloomberg candidacy, it can be hard to get off the ground."

Bloomberg would have to swiftly make up ground to compete with candidates like Biden, Warren and others, who have spent months traveling the country meeting voters.

Warren on Thursday tweeted: "Welcome to the race, @MikeBloomberg!" and linked to her campaign website, saying he would find there "policy plans that will make a huge difference for working people and which are very popular."

Bloomberg appeared to be taking the first step by moving to file in Alabama, which votes on March 3.

A spokesman for the Arkansas Democratic Party said a person representing a "mystery candidate" reached out Thursday afternoon asking about the requirements to join the ballot in the state. Reed Brewer, communications director for the Arkansas Democrats, said he walked the individual through the process — which simply requires filing documentation with both the state party and secretary of state, as well as paying a $2,500 fee — and was assured that the fee would be "no problem" for the mystery candidate.

There is no filing requirement for a candidate to run in the Iowa caucuses, which are a series of Democratic Party meetings, not state-run elections. It means a candidate can enter the race for the Feb. 3 leadoff contest at any time.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 25870

Reported Deaths: 1097
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8738633
Ramsey3189134
Stearns204714
Nobles15585
Anoka147073
Dakota138859
Washington67033
Olmsted65411
Kandiyohi5051
Rice4802
Scott4552
Clay43529
Mower3662
Wright3322
Todd3300
Sherburne2482
Carver2242
Benton1813
Steele1670
Blue Earth1480
Martin1325
Freeborn1300
St. Louis11814
Pine900
Nicollet8810
Winona8015
Watonwan780
Cottonwood770
Carlton750
Crow Wing754
Unassigned7411
Lyon711
Otter Tail710
Goodhue704
Chisago641
Polk612
Itasca5610
Dodge530
Chippewa511
Morrison480
Le Sueur461
Meeker450
Douglas440
Becker410
Jackson400
Murray390
McLeod370
Isanti350
Waseca270
Rock230
Mille Lacs221
Pennington210
Faribault200
Swift190
Wabasha180
Beltrami180
Brown172
Fillmore171
Sibley160
Norman140
Kanabec121
Marshall120
Cass122
Pipestone120
Wilkin113
Aitkin110
Wadena100
Pope90
Koochiching90
Big Stone80
Lincoln60
Mahnomen61
Yellow Medicine60
Redwood60
Renville50
Traverse40
Grant40
Red Lake40
Clearwater30
Hubbard30
Lac qui Parle30
Roseau30
Houston20
Stevens10
Lake10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20264

Reported Deaths: 574
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4406134
Woodbury281737
Black Hawk175946
Linn96779
Dallas92924
Buena Vista9181
Marshall90118
Johnson6169
Wapello60714
Muscatine56341
Crawford5422
Tama40828
Scott36810
Dubuque35121
Louisa34611
Pottawattamie29610
Sioux2900
Jasper26317
Wright1940
Washington1928
Warren1530
Plymouth1392
Allamakee1204
Story1181
Mahaska9712
Poweshiek918
Henry722
Bremer696
Boone670
Des Moines661
Clinton651
Clarke640
Taylor590
Guthrie533
Cedar491
Hamilton450
Benton441
Webster441
Monroe385
Shelby370
Jones370
Cherokee360
Marion340
Clayton343
Osceola340
Iowa330
Buchanan330
Jefferson330
Cerro Gordo301
Madison292
Lee280
Davis270
Fayette270
Dickinson270
Harrison260
Sac250
Lyon250
Monona250
Winneshiek240
Clay210
Grundy200
Mills200
Floyd191
Emmet190
Hardin190
Lucas191
Delaware191
Humboldt181
Butler171
Hancock160
Franklin150
Page140
Pocahontas140
Ida140
Keokuk140
Appanoose143
Audubon131
Jackson130
Greene130
Kossuth130
Carroll130
Chickasaw120
Cass120
Howard120
Winnebago110
Adair90
Union90
Van Buren90
Montgomery81
Adams70
Palo Alto70
Calhoun40
Fremont40
Ringgold40
Mitchell40
Worth30
Wayne10
Decatur10
Unassigned00
Rochester
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Mason City
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 81°
Albert Lea
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 80°
Austin
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 82°
Charles City
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 83°
Another round of severe weather tonight
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events