My Take on the Democratic Primary

I learned in 2016 not to make predictions. First Brexit happened. Then Donald Trump won the American presidential election. I didn’t expect either. Indeed, I went so far as to urge Republicans in the United States to purge Trump’s nativists from their party after what I was sure would be his defeat.

I allowed my own biases to reject what the polls showed to be very real possibilities. Rather than improve my predictions and try harder to be neutral, my resolution has been to prioritize analysis of what is happening over what could happen and own up to my biases, sometimes explicitly, so you can better make up your mind. This is an opinion blog, after all, not a newspaper.

To that end, I’m giving you my take on the Democratic presidential primaries, which kick off in Iowa on February 3. I don’t think I’m a partisan for any candidate, but my thoughts and feelings about them probably inform everything I write about the election. Best then to share them.

I’m excluding Michael Bennet, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang. All are polling under 4 percent nationally and far below the 15 percent support needed to win delegates in Iowa. Read more “My Take on the Democratic Primary”

Democratic Primary News

Michael Bloomberg
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg makes a speech in Stockton, California, December 11, 2019 (Mike Bloomberg 2020)
  • Julián Castro has thrown his support behind Elizabeth Warren. This has helped Warren move up in the endorsement primary, which tracks support from prominent party actors. She is now in second place, behind Joe Biden but ahead of Bernie Sanders.
  • Although Sanders has raised the most money in total, Biden is ahead in donations from Americans who also give to the Democratic Party. This is perhaps unsurprising given that Sanders, who isn’t formally a Democrat, is running as much against the Democratic establishment as he is against the Republicans. Warren and Pete Buttigieg share second place in big-dollar donations from politically engaged Democrats, but neither is far behind Biden, suggesting there isn’t a consensus among donors yet.
  • Biden continues to lead the polls with 25-30 percent support nationwide. Biden shares first place in the Iowa polls with Buttigieg and Sanders. Each has around 20 percent support. Warren is at 15. It’s a similar picture in New Hampshire, where Sanders — from neighboring Vermont — is slightly more popular. Nevada and South Carolina haven’t been polled since November, but at the time Biden was ahead in both states.
  • California shows a three-way race between Biden, Sanders and Warren. Texas has Biden in the lead. Both states will vote on March 3, Super Tuesday, and together send 644 out of 3,979 pledged delegates (16 percent) to the convention in July.
  • Michael Bloomberg has moved into fifth place with 5-6 percent support nationally. He has also hired some 500 additional staffers across thirty states, bringing his total campaign staff to 800 — more than any other candidate. Read more “Democratic Primary News”

Democratic Primary News

Democratic senator Kamala Harris of California visits the aircraft carrier USS Teddy Roosevelt, June 2, 2017
Democratic senator Kamala Harris of California visits the aircraft carrier USS Teddy Roosevelt, June 2, 2017 (Office of Senator Kamala Harris)
  • California senator Kamala Harris has ended her presidential bid.
  • Support for Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren has fallen from a high of 26 percent to under 15 percent since she announced her Medicare-for-all plan.
  • Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is officially in the race and trying an unconventional strategy: bypassing the first four primary states.
  • Former vice president Joe Biden remains at the top of the field with 25 to 30 percent support. Read more “Democratic Primary News”

Michael Bloomberg and the Power of New York

Manhattan New York
View of Columbus Circle in Manhattan, New York at night, December 15, 2007 (Thomas Hawk)

Last month, a report in The New York Times suggested that Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City from 2002 until 2014, has been thinking about running for president of the United States as a third-party candidate and may be willing to spend as much as a billion dollars of his own money to do so.

Today, on the sole day between the end of football season and the start of ex-Iowa primary season, Bloomberg himself confirmed that report. According to MarketWatch, this is “the first time Bloomberg himself has said [he might run], though his surrogates have told other outlets the former New York City mayor and founder of Bloomberg LP was considering such a move.”

“I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters,” said Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg strategy is a fairly simple one: first you take Manhattan, then you take DC. The idea would be for him to secure the huge amounts of donor money and media support available in New York City, as well as the 5.4 percent of America’s Electoral College points that you get by winning New York state in the general election, and then use those assets in order to lure Republican-leaning Americans (particularly if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz wins the Republican nomination and if socialist Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic nomination) and/or Democratic-leaning Americans outside New York to vote Bloomberg on election day too. Read more “Michael Bloomberg and the Power of New York”

Bloomberg Makes Case for Immigration Reform

During a symosium about the future of American immigration policy last week, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg described the nation’s anti-immigration sentiment as akin to national suicide. “Every day that we fail to fix our broken immigration laws is a day that we inflict a wound on our economy,” he said. “Today, we may have turned away the next Albert Einstein or Sergei Brin. Tomorrow, we may turn away the next Levi Strauss or Jerry Yang.”

We would not have become a global superpower without the contributions of immigrants who built the railroads and canals that opened up the west, who invented groundbreaking products that revolutionized global commerce, and who pioneered scientific, engineering and medical advances that made America the most innovative country in the world.

But make no mistake: we will not remain a global superpower if we continue to close our doors to people who want to come here to work hard, start businesses, and pursue the American Dream. The American Dream cannot survive if we keep telling the dreamers to go elsewhere.

Bloomberg cited a study that found that more than two hundred of America’s five hundred largest businesses were either founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. “These immigrant rooted companies employ more than ten million people worldwide,” he said, “which is a population larger than 43 states have. And they generate annual revenue of $4.2 trillion.” Read more “Bloomberg Makes Case for Immigration Reform”

Bloomberg’s Call for Repeal of Tiahrt

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City has called for Congress to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment. A law passed in 2003 and made permanent in 2008 that Bloomberg claims is hampering the investigations of people such as Nidal Malik Hasan, the man who went on the shooting spree in Fort Hood, Texas.

The same Nidal Hasan was already under investigation for posting on the Internet that Muslims should rise up against America and was declared to be mostly harmless.

It seems Bloomberg’s real problem isn’t that the Tiahrt Amendment prevents the investigation of firearm related crimes. If it did, we wouldn’t know that Hasan had bought the pistol he used from a Gunshop in Keleem, Texas.

Bloomberg’s problem is that his group Mayors Against Illegal Guns have been trying to get their hands on confidential law enforcement data for their lawsuit against American firearms manufacturers. Read more “Bloomberg’s Call for Repeal of Tiahrt”