Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign chief believes that US President Donald Trump is on course to win next year’s election.
Speaking on CNN's At This Hour on Monday, Kevin Sheekey pointed out that the 2020 election comes down to who wins in six key battleground states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona.
According to a New York Times/Siena poll published on 4 November, Trump is in a strong position in those states in a potential match-up with any of the three top-polling Democrats, despite lower nationwide ratings.
“That’s the whole general election,” Sheekey said, “And right now, Donald Trump is winning. He is winning that election. It’s very tough for people who don't live in New York or California to understand that, but that is what’s happening.”
Following weeks of speculation, Mike Bloomberg finally announced his presidential bid on Sunday. With an estimated net worth of $54.1 billion, the 77-year-old is currently ranked the 9th richest person in the United States and the 14th richest in the world.
'America's Biggest Political Giver'
Zaid Jilani, a Bridging the Divides Writing Fellow at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Magazine and a freelance journalist, believes that Bloomberg is one of "America's biggest political givers", who has spent tens of millions of dollars "on liberal causes and Democratic candidates".
"This level of influence is unprecedented in a Democratic political primary, and could be used to curry favor with liberal organizations and activists. Any official at an influential liberal organization that is considering weighing in on the Democratic primary must consider the reality that it could cut them off from Bloomberg's philanthropic giving in the future", Jilani says.
Who is Bloomberg?
He made his fortune creating information systems technology that made it easier for bankers and traders to wade through market data. Bloomberg, the founder of the eponymous media company, was a Democrat before he joined the Republicans in 2001 and won that year's New York mayoral election. After two terms as a Republican, he won a third one as an independent, drawing both praise for the plunge in crime rates and criticism for the NYPD’s ‘stop and frisk’ programme he helped enforce.
Bloomberg is positioning his campaign as being explicitly anti-Trump and is expected to self-fund his run. “I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America,” reads the announcement on his campaign website. “We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage.”
Bloomberg is a late entry to the Democratic presidential race, which is now widely seen as a battle between relatively moderate candidates, such as Joe Biden, Tulsi Gabbard and Pete Buttigieg, and the party’s progressive wing, represented by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
The billionaire candidate has yet to publish full details of his policy proposals, but the already-visible mix of moderate views on taxes, education, healthcare and gun violence currently puts him in line with the likes of Biden and sets up a potential clash with the anti-billionaire agendas of Sanders and Warren.