Former New York mayor and gun control sugar daddy Michael Bloomberg continues to ramp up his campaign spending in his bid to become the Democrat nominee for president. Not only has the anti-gun billionaire spent nearly $200-million on campaign advertising over the past six weeks, Reuters reports that Bloomberg has added hundreds of paid staffers to his campaign as well.
Bloomberg’s hires reflect an unorthodox, risky strategy of focusing on the Democratic nominating contests in March and skipping the important first matchup – the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3 – as well as key primaries in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
He has hired about 500 staff members in more than 30 states, in addition to about 300 at his New York campaign headquarters, a campaign spokeswoman said.
The campaign did not disclose state-by-state staffing tallies, but the organization’s states director, Dan Kanninen, said there were staff “on the ground in every Super Tuesday” contest.
“We will compete everywhere,” said Kanninen. “Our campaign is building the most robust national organization and infrastructure to beat Donald Trump.”
Bloomberg reached double digits in a poll for the first time this week. A Hill-HarrisX poll shows Bloomberg tied with Elizabeth Warren for third place with 11% of Democrat primary voters, though Bloomberg is still far behind front runner Joe Biden, who has the support of 28% of respondents.
Bloomberg is still having some trouble sealing the support of what should be his most enthusiastic voting bloc: gun control advocates. The Times of San Diego reported on a recent campaign swing by Bloomberg, and noted the San Diego resident who hosted a gathering for Bloomberg still can’t say she’s going to vote for him.
[Wendy] Wheatcroft, the former state Moms Demand Action leader who hosted the second gathering at her split-level home near San Carlos, said she wasn’t planning to make a formal endorsement.
She hadn’t spoken with Bloomberg before his appearance, she said, but was delighted to get a call from his local camp about helping her fellow gun-safety advocate. (He founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Everytown for Gun Safety, and claimed that his money helped 21 of 24 like-minded first-time congressional candidates win slim victories in 2018.)
“Hosting a presidential candidate in my backyard today is just another example that we are living in crazy times,” Wheatcroft said in introducing the 2002-2013 New York mayor. “And we all must do everything possible to take back this country.”
Also hesitant to join the Bloomberg bandwagon was Rep. Scott Peters, who attended the Fuse event. He said he was there to hear from a fellow moderate. (He recently lost his district chief of staff, MaryAnne Pintar, to the Bloomberg campaign.)
Happy to host Bloomberg, but not nearly as eager to announce her support for the billionaire. That’s a problem for Bloomberg, though not an insurmountable challenge. He remains focused on the Super Tuesday primaries in early March, and I suspect that as we get closer to those primaries on March 3rd, Bloomberg will spread enough cash around to get the vocal backing of many gun control advocates in delegate-rich states like California.