Michael Bloomberg’s been an official presidential candidate for a couple of weeks now, with tens of millions of dollars in advertising blasting his campaign ads into homes across the nation. The onslaught of campaign ads has been accompanied by a a fair amount of media coverage for his gun control plans as well. Have the ad buys and earned media brought Bloomberg any extra love in the polls?
Not really, no. The first national poll that featured Bloomberg was a Hill/HarrisX poll released on November 18th and conducted before Bloomberg officially declared his candidacy. He scored a modest 3% in the poll, which may have been pretty good for an undeclared candidate but still placed him far behind the frontrunners.
Since then, the best polling for Bloomberg has been another Hill/HarrisX poll that had him at 6% in late November and the first day of December. A 100% jump is barely outside the poll’s margin of error, and while Bloomberg bested failed candidate Kamala Harris in the poll, he was still the second most popular mayor running for president behind South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, who had the support of 9% of respondents.
Other polling has shown Bloomberg stuck around 3%, including an Economist/YouGov poll that was released on Wednesday. Not only that, but Joe Biden’s polling numbers have been remarkably steady, and he has a 12 point lead over Bernie Sanders in the Real Clear Politics polling average. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have been trending downward, but it’s Pete Buttigieg who’s surging at the moment, not Bloomberg. Since mid-October, Buttigieg’s share of the vote in the Real Clear Politics polling average has climbed from 4.4% to 11.4%. Bloomberg’s share has doubled since he entered the race, climbing from 2 to 4%, but a big reason for that is the fact that he’s only been included in a handful of polls, which makes the 6% he received in the Hill/HarrisX poll a fairly large percentage of his polling average.
It’s not just the polling numbers that have been slow to respond to Bloomberg’s entry into the presidential primary. Gun control activists across the country have been indifferent to his political plans. As the Associated Press reports, even at the official campaign event in Aurora, Colorado where he debuted his gun control platform, some of the anti-gun activists in attendance weren’t ready to vote for the billionaire backer of gun control.
Even at his Thursday event in Aurora, Colorado, some attendees who cheered his years-long fight against gun violence raised concerns about his viability as a candidate and the pace of his early spending.
“Personally, it gives me pause. I don’t like it when a candidate self funds their campaign,” said Dawn Reinfeld, a gun-control activist. “But I’m willing to wait and see. We wouldn’t be where we are without him.”…
Annette Moore, another gun-control activist invited to the Aurora event, said she wasn’t ready to commit to Bloomberg.
“I’m uneasy about the concept of buying his way into an election,” Moore said. “On the other hand, it’s going to take a lot of money to defeat Donald Trump.”
Keep in mind, this wasn’t an event open to the public. Only 38 people were in attendance, according to the AP, and yet Bloomberg couldn’t even get the backing of 100% of his hand-picked attendees. That’s not a great sign for his presidential ambitions.
Be sure to check out the entire Associated Press story linked above, which goes into a good bit of detail about how Bloomberg is structuring his campaign and the strategy he plans to deploy in his quest for the Democrat’s nomination. Bloomberg’s ready to spend at least a billion dollars if that’s what it takes, and while I still don’t believe he’ll be the nominee, I also don’t believe you can count him out just yet.