It’s a long shot, and the odds are against him, but social activist and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s past record of surprise victories shows that he can overtake the 2020 Democratic primaries and win the nomination, according to his former pollster.
“He is a winner. At a time when Democrats have managed to turn a slam dunk 2020 victory into only a probable or plausible one, perhaps voters might consider another option,” said pollster John Zogby in a memo about Bloomberg’s new effort.
While critics have dismissed Bloomberg as an interloper with a failed strategy of skipping early primaries in favor of the series of elections on Super Tuesday, Zogby warned that he should not be underestimated.
In fact, the pollster noted that he didn’t think Bloomberg, as a businessman, could build the world’s leading financial news service, or as a rookie Republican politician, become mayor of Democratic New York.
This sentence in his memo, shared with Secrets, said it all: “I don’t see success happening this time, but I didn’t see it happening in New York when I polled for him in 1999 — two years before he won his first term.”
Bloomberg’s advantages are his billions of dollars, his appeal as a Republican-turned-Democrat, his war on guns, second-hand smoke, and sugary treats, and his record of challenging President Trump.
But Zogby said his disadvantages loom large too, and he cited the disdain other Democrats in the race have for him and the lack of a “groundswell” of support for a Bloomberg 2020 candidacy.
For now, the longtime Bloomberg observer and Utica, New York-based pollster has this advice: “Never ever count Mike Bloomberg out.”