POLITICS

Mike Bloomberg Set To Reconsider Campaign After Super Tuesday Flop

The former New York mayor spent $224 million targeting Super Tuesday voters and appeared to notch only one outright win.

Mike Bloomberg faced his first election night of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday ― and his disappointing results mean it might also be his last.

The former New York mayor will on Wednesday reassess his bid for the party’s nomination, reported NBC News, The Associated Press and Politico. A statement from Bloomberg’s campaign manager, Kevin Sheekey, made two references to the importance of defeating President Donald Trump, a cause Bloomberg has previously said he will spend big money on regardless of whether he is the nominee.

“We launched our campaign exactly 100 days ago,” Sheekey said. “In that incredibly short time, we’ve built a nationwide coalition focused on building a better future for America, and that starts with defeating Donald Trump in November.”

Bloomberg has spent more than half a billion dollars of his estimated $60 billion fortune on the race so far, $224 million of it on advertising targeted at Super Tuesday voters. It hasn’t paid off. 

He notched only one outright win, in the territory of American Samoa. His top rivals ― former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ― seriously outperformed him in states where he had hoped to make significant gains like North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado.

Bloomberg’s rationale for entering the race also faced trouble. He hoped to snag moderate voters from Biden, whom he saw as a weak candidate, and to emerge as the strongest alternative to the assertively progressive Sanders. 

But Tuesday capped a dayslong surge for Biden, who secured a win in South Carolina’s primary on Saturday and high-profile endorsements from Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and former 2020 presidential contenders Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). He scored significant wins, including in states that backed Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary like Oklahoma and Minnesota, as well as in Massachusetts, the home state of fellow Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.

To the extent Bloomberg sought to blunt Sanders’ momentum, he did enjoy some successes on Tuesday night. In Colorado, for example, Bloomberg and Biden both secured a significant number of votes, thus denying Sanders a number of delegates in a state he won. 

Yet the former vice president’s stunning turnaround suggested there was little space left for Bloomberg’s Biden-like pitch of being the best Sanders alternative and the most qualified to face Trump because of his experience and personal ethics.

Bloomberg has established a massive national operation that extends beyond the Super Tuesday states. Should he choose to, he could remain in the race, and his team has spoken of a long push. “We’re going to be fighting it through,” adviser Tim O’Brien told the AP ahead of Tuesday, saying the night’s results would not cause his boss to drop out.

Bloomberg has bought ads for the following two days in states with later contests, The Washington Post reported

Yet the businessman could decide the most pragmatic ― and face-saving ― move would be to bow out, perhaps preserving some of a reputation that’s recently faced loud criticism from the left and fresh scrutiny.

“The writing is on the wall,” one source close to the campaign told Mediaite.