Michael Bloomberg is huddling with campaign advisors in New York today, reassessing his presidential campaign after his Super Tuesday strategy crashed and burned. Of the fourteen primaries held on March 3rd, Bloomberg won only the primary in American Samoa, which was worth a whopping seven delegates. Bloomberg’s strategy was to roll up delegates in population-rich states like Texas and California, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Joe Biden narrowly won the Lone Star State, while Sanders appears to have won the California primary fairly handily.
As of Wednesday morning, Biden has about 450 delegates, while Sanders has about 380. Bloomberg is a distant fourth, with 44 delegates allotted to him and trailing Elizabeth Warren thanks to his dismal showing on Tuesday.
Bloomberg’s plan has always been to get to a contested convention where no candidate has the majority of delegates needed to win the nomination on the first ballot. According to the latest predictions from the 538 political blog, the odds of a contested convention are still pretty high, with a 3-in-5 chance that no candidate gets to the magic number of 1,991 delegates before the Democrat convention in Milwaukee.
So, despite Bloomberg’s bad night, the prospects of a contested convention are still pretty good. Does that mean that Bloomberg stays in the race despite blowing $500-million and getting almost nothing in return? According to CNN, the campaign calculus seems to be simple: will staying in the race help or hurt Bernie Sanders.
A grim reality has set in around Bloomberg’s New York headquarters: Former Vice President Joe Biden is overwhelming him in one state after another, despite spending virtually nothing compared to Bloomberg’s millions.“This isn’t going as planned,” one adviser said bluntly.That mood is compounded by a sense of fear sweeping through Bloomberg’s operation that the New York mayor’s well-funded, sprawling operation could complicate Biden’s extraordinarily swift consolidation of the moderate wing of the party, and eventually help Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the candidate he set out to stop.“No,” a top Democrat close to the campaign told CNN. “He does not want to help Sanders become the nominee.”
Bloomberg has pledged to pay his massive staff to continue to work through November to support whoever becomes the eventual Democratic nominee.