Will Donald Trump Win the 2020 Election?
In this rancorous campaign season, there’s one thing both the Right and Left now agree on: Michael Bloomberg is trying to buy the presidency.
He may be succeeding, too. Having already spent approximately $400 million dollars on a campaign that’s thus far as short as his stature (he announced just three months ago), Bloomberg has vaulted to second place in a new national poll. This said, socialism appears to sell as well as money buys, as the poll also shows Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) leading the field by a significant margin, despite being outspent by Bloomberg approximately nine to one.
The poll, by NPR/PBS/Marist, doesn’t have much good news for the other candidates, however. Gaffe machine, former vice president, and recent frontrunner Joe Biden appears to finally be experiencing the collapse many had long predicted. Fellow erstwhile frontrunner Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Iowa caucus wunderkind Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.) also showed a loss of support. Only Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) joins the two poll leaders in notably improving her standing.
As Mediaite reports, “Sanders support in the poll clocks in at 31%, which [is a] big rise of nine points since the last NPR/PBS/Marist poll, while the former Mayor of New York comes in second with 19%, representing a whopping rise of 15 points since the last poll in December.” The site then presents the “Top-level results”:
Sanders 31% (+9)
Bloomberg 19% (+15)
Biden 15% (-9)
Warren 12% (-5)
Klobuchar 9% (+5)
Buttigieg 8% (-5)
Steyer 2% (+1)
The news for Joe Biden is even worse than it appears. The poll, which involved 1,416 adults and was conducted February 13 through February 16, included an “oversample” of black Americans. This constituency had been buttressing Biden’s campaign; in fact, the ex-vice president has blamed his fourth and fifth place finishes in the first two nominating contests, Iowa and New Hampshire, on those states’ having mainly white populations.
So assuming the poll’s accuracy, either Biden’s decline in support is even worse than his nine-percent drop indicates — or now he’s actually at a disadvantage with black voters.
This shift is also evident in the state Biden called his “firewall,” South Carolina. Blacks constitute at least 60 percent of the state’s Democrat primary electorate, and not long ago Biden enjoyed a two-to-one advantage over Sanders in S.C.; now his lead has been trimmed to 6.5 points according to the RealClearPolitics.com average.
Moreover, RealClearPolitics’ national average reflects the NPR/PBS poll in showing Sanders as the frontrunner (by 10 points); it also shows Bloomberg nipping at Biden’s heels just two points back. And Bloomberg is actually leading in the important Super Tuesday state of Florida.
So it certainly appears that the Democrats’ far-left flank, once divided more evenly between Warren and Sanders, is coalescing behind the latter, Warren’s lies and juvenile behavior likely having done her in. It also appears that the party’s moderately radical segment — and its establishment, which fears Sanders — may be flocking to Bloomberg.
It would be, and perhaps is already, a very odd two-man race. It’s the socialite vs. the socialist, money vs. Marx, and age vs., well, age (both men are 78 and the two oldest contenders). It also would be the first time ever that a major party’s two frontrunners were Jewish, a reality that, barring a brokered convention surprise, would give us history’s first Jewish major party nominee (though the two men believe in Judaism like the Grand Mufti believes in the Holy Trinity).
Bloomberg is certainly acting the part of frontrunner. In fact, it’s possible that effecting this image was the purpose behind the “leak” indicating his consideration of Hillary Clinton as his running mate. As is said, “If you want something, act as if you already have it.” Bloomberg’s signaling that he’s already making such decisions is a power move sending the message that he’s the presumptive nominee.
But it’s his money moves that trouble many. In contrast to Donald Trump — who despite his billionaire bluster actually spent relatively little during his 2016 presidential run (half that of Clinton and the Democrats, in fact) — Bloomberg has opened up his $56 billion pocketbook and broken open the race. This reflects his NYC mayoral run in which he spent money the equivalent of $200 per vote, according to radio host Mark Levin on his Tuesday program.
Unrepentant socialist Sanders has taken note, too, accusing Bloomberg of trying to “buy the presidency” (video below).
In this he was joined by Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, who warned Monday that Bloomberg wasn’t running on issues but cash (video below).
Bloomberg has, in fact, become a frontrunner by carpet-bombing the airwaves with ads and despite not having participated in one primary or debate thus far. But the question is: Will he become over-exposed — and what happens when he gets exposed?
That is to say, it’s possible there’ll be a point of diminishing returns with the saturation commercials; people may tire of seeing them. Moreover, voters have seen Bloomberg’s ads, but haven’t heard much from Bloomberg, the man behind the curtain.
This will change, though, as he has qualified for and tonight will appear in the Nevada Democrat debate. This is where Bloomberg is vulnerable, too. He’s not charismatic, doesn’t have a natural Democrat constituency since he’s done something to alienate just about everyone, and will be susceptible to attacks — which surely will come fast and furious.
But both Bloomberg and Sanders are, ironically, frontrunners in baggage. Sanders honeymooned in the Soviet Union, praised that evil empire’s bread lines, and has refused to fire campaign workers caught on video talking about killing political opponents or putting them in gulags. As for Bloomberg, commentator Andrea Widburg reminds us that he’s “a nasty bit of work,” arrogant, vulgar, lewd, and contemptuous of the common man.
So the Democrat contest may very well now be a two-man race. Nonetheless, some might say that it’s still two men short.
Photos: AP Images
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The New American for more than a decade. He has also written for The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, and many other print and online publications. In addition, he has contributed to college textbooks published by Gale-Cengage Learning, has appeared on television, and is a frequent guest on radio.