Sputnik: Mike Bloomberg has reportedly claimed that he will rethink his decision to stay out of the 2020 Democratic primary race. How high are the chances that he will eventually enter the race?
Professor Rogers Smith: The odds are still less than 50%, but they are definitely increasing. Like many centrist Americans, Bloomberg has become concerned that Joe Biden's campaign is faltering, and the Democratic nomination may go to Elizabeth Warren. Her economic policy views are much further left than Bloomberg's, and he is also concerned that because that is so, she might not be able to beat President Trump. He will enter the race if he feels that he has a real chance to get nominated and the best chance to beat Trump.
Sputnik: How much is he a competitor to the current frontrunners – Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren? Can he secure his place as the Democratic nominee?
Professor Rogers Smith: At this point, not just Biden and Warren but a number of candidates are well ahead of Bloomberg. He does not have an organization at work, he has not been campaigning, he has not even consistently been a democrat. But there are many democratic voters who are anxious about their current array of candidates, so Bloomberg may soon find he has a real opening.
Sputnik: What would Mr Bloomberg’s agenda look like and how popular could it be?
Professor Rogers Smith: He is liberal on social issues and favourable toward government economic initiatives like transportation, communications, and energy production infrastructure spending, as well as health care and education. But he won’t support Medicare for all, free higher ed, or other more left-leaning positions Warren and Sanders have endorsed.
Sputnik: How high are the chances of him beating current US President Donald Trump in the 2020 elections?
Professor Rogers Smith: He is not likely to be nominated, but if he were, Bloomberg would have a very good chance of beating Donald Trump. His worry would be whether the democratic left-leaning voters would decide to stay at home.
Sputnik: How could his participation shape the Democratic Party's chances at securing a significant voter base at the 2020 elections?
Professor Rogers Smith: He could help turn out centrist voters in both parties as well as independents who are unhappy with both Trump and Warren, building a coalition similar to that which twice elected Bill Clinton in the 1990s. But it is far from clear that the modern democratic party wants to nominate that sort of candidate.
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