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There's One 'Plausible' Path for Bloomberg to Win

Matt Bai argues that if Sanders builds momentum after Iowa, NH, Bloomberg has a shot
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2020 2:00 PM CST
Michael Bloomberg speaks during a campaign event Jan. 27, 2020, in Burlington, Vt.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Newser) – Just a couple of months ago, Baby Yoda was generating more buzz on social media than Michael Bloomberg, even though the latter had just announced a presidential run. Things may now be shifting, and Matt Bai makes a bold assertion at the Washington Post: "It might be time to take Bloomberg seriously," reads the column's headline. Bai first lays out why Bloomberg initially didn't seem to have much of a shot in the presidential race, with a "nonsensical" late entry and a campaign that looked to be focused on racking up endorsements, scooping up airtime in Super Tuesday states, and otherwise forking over a whole lot of money, instead of concentrating on early primaries. Then there was his status as a billionaire and his push for "stop-and-frisk" policing while mayor of New York City.

Still, Bai sees "one scenario—and probably only one—in which Bloomberg's weird theory of how he wins could actually become plausible." What it's all hinging on: if Bernie Sanders comes out of the Iowa caucus this week and the New Hampshire primary next week as the clear front-runner. That's because, per Bai, Bloomberg would then be able to offer Democrats a "very stark choice": "Do you choose socialism or capitalism? An ideologue or an executive? Are you really going to ask Americans to trade one extreme for the other, or do you want to offer them a certified, electable moderate?" Bai concedes Bloomberg still has some hurdles if that path emerges—he has to win over black voters, for example—but if Sanders looks strong after Iowa and New Hampshire, "that path won't be nearly as narrow as it once looked." His full take here. (Read more Michael Bloomberg 2020 stories.)

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