While billionaire Michael Bloomberg has yet to win a single state or delegate, his campaign is certainly “talking the talk” and expressing confidence.
A senior official from Bloomberg’s campaign told reporters Tuesday, there are only 3 viable candidates for President – Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders, and President Trump.
The statement is sure to not be taken kindly by rivals Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar.
Bloomberg states director Dan Kanninen added “and of that bunch, only Mike Bloomberg has a chance to beat Donald Trump in the fall election.”
Per Yahoo, the blunt statement provides a window into how the campaign views the other established frontrunners, including former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. When asked if he misspoke by not mentioning Biden — who was leading the polls nationally until low vote totals in Iowa and New Hampshire knocked him off — Kanninen said it wasn’t an oversight.
“Vice President Biden, although he had a very strong public polling posture through most of the summer and into the fall — that has really collapsed,” Kanninen said. “Since the campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire … he’s dropped 9 points, and Mike has now surpassed him.”
Kanninen added that the only Democratic rival to be set up to do well come Super Tuesday is Sanders, who is “in a position to win the nomination of the Democrats based on the polling,” though he believes that Bloomberg can catch up after results pour in in March.
The Bloomberg campaign has long claimed that its unique ability to run a national campaign while the majority of Democratic candidates were focused on early states — due to Bloomberg’s deep personal pockets of money — gives him an edge for voters who are looking for an alternative to the two dozen Democrats who were unable to secure breakaway frontrunner status in the earlier stages of the race. Later in the call, though, Kanninen warned there is a “danger” if the moderate wing of the party remains muddled, unable to coalesce behind an alternative to Sanders, who has mobilized the left-wing base of the party.
Kanninen suggested that if voters decide to support a candidate like Biden or another Democrat who’s not Bloomberg come Super Tuesday, it’s possible that Sanders could have a “delegate lead that is tough to match” even if Bloomberg comes in a “very strong second” to the Vermont senator in California.
“I think voters should understand that there is really only a two-candidate race at the top of the Democratic field, and stacking up votes for folks that do not really have viability, either in Florida or in California or other Super Tuesday states, you’re likely to perpetrate a Bernie nomination.”