In a new Op-Ed for RealClearPolitics, Paul Bledsoe explains how Bloomberg could end up hurting the “moderates” in the 2020 race and helping Bernie Sanders secures the nomination.
Bloomberg’s candidacy could split the moderate vote further, and take way votes from Biden, Buttigieg and Klobuchar, handing Bernie a larger delegate lead going into the convention as he consolidates the progressive lane to himself.
Bledsoe, who is apparently against Sanders on the top of the ticket, argues Democrats need to choose just one moderate to go against Sanders after Super Tuesday.
Yet in practice, Bloomberg’s own continued candidacy, according to the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, is further splitting the crowded moderate vote — made up of Biden, Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Bloomberg — while Sanders continues to solidify the suddenly less crowded left with only the badly fading Warren competing for that wing of the primary voters.
Bloomberg, even after the largest campaign ad buy in primary history, is polling at less than 15% nationally, still behind Biden, and seems to be simply hurting Biden, Buttigieg and Klobuchar, but not Sanders.
Right now, the prognosticators at FiveThirtyEight have Sanders as the odds-on favorite, with a one in three chance to win the nomination.
But the chances that no candidate gains a majority of delegates before the convention, as I first warned about almost a year ago, are now higher than ever, with FiveThirtyEight saying there is a 33% chance of no candidate having a majority before Milwaukee.
Yet this is likely to merely help Sanders since in a Democratic Party obsessed with plurality-based fairness, it will be very difficult to deny the candidate with the most delegates the nomination, as happened in previous eras, meaning whoever has the largest number of delegates will be nearly guaranteed the nomination. In this sense, the term “brokered convention” many have been using is entirely misleading — it is hard to imagine any scenarios or backroom deals that would, say, deny Sanders the nomination, without tearing apart the Democratic Party’s left and moderate wings and guaranteeing Trump’s re-election.
Expecting any mainstream candidate to leave before Super Tuesday, March 3, is unrealistic — although Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard and others who have zero chance should be pressured to do so now.
But immediately after Super Tuesday, party leaders should exert pressure so that the centrist candidate with the most delegates is the only one who stays in the race. This means that at least two, and more likely three, of the center four — Biden, Buttigieg, Bloomberg, and Klobuchar — who have the fewest delegates must get out. The goal must be a single centrist candidate against Sanders as quickly as possible.
Read more here.