Bloomberg Rising In The Polls, But Most Democrats Don’t Want Him

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in fifth place in national polling, but a new poll suggests that he may not rise much further.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been in the race for President for roughly two weeks, his ads are all over television (or at least all over the cable news outlets), and he’s even been starting to register in polling at the national level. However, a new poll suggests that his presence in the race isn’t being well-received among Democrats:

Electability is a central pillar of former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg’s newly launched presidential campaign, but a poll released Tuesday finds he is deeply unpopular with voters nationwide.

Monmouth University poll found about twice as many registered voters rated Bloomberg negatively as positively — 54 percent unfavorable, 26 percent favorable. That margin was significantly worse than for five other Democratic candidates, as well as for President Trump. That same measure hampered Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016.

A separate Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found that despite Bloomberg’s negative personal ratings, he led Trump by six percentage points in a head-to-head matchup, 48 percent to 42 percent. That was in the middle of the pack for Democratic hopefuls, ranging from a nine-point lead over Trump for former vice president Joe Biden to a narrow four-point edge for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.).

In both the Quinnipiac and Monmouth polls, Bloomberg garnered 5 percent support nationally for the Democratic nomination, narrowly higher than some other recent polls. He was in fifth place in the Monmouth poll, behind Biden (26 percent) and senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at 21 percent and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) at 17 percent. Bloomberg’s support is within the margin of error of South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 8 percent, Klobuchar at 4 percent, businessman Andrew Yang at 3 percent and Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) at 2 percent.

Yet the negative favorability ratings are a sign Bloomberg may struggle to increase his support among both Democrats and the broader electorate. Since its launch last month, his campaign has spent more money on ads than all the top-polling Democrats combined and is simultaneously building out ground operations in 27 states.

“Bloomberg said he got into this race because he wants to defeat Trump, but his campaign kicks off with even lower ratings than the incumbent,” said Monmouth polling director Patrick Murray. “That is not the most auspicious start, but views of Bloomberg are not as deeply held as they are for Trump, so he has room to shift those opinions,”


The Monmouth poll is not alone in finding Bloomberg is unpopular with the broader electorate. A Dec. 1-3 Economist-YouGov poll found 22 percent of U.S. adults had favorable views of Bloomberg and 47 percent were unfavorable, while 31 percent said they didn’t know. Democrats were split: 36 percent were favorable and 37 percent were unfavorable, with 27 percent saying they didn’t know.

The Economist-YouGov poll found 30 percent of Democratic voters saying they would be “disappointed” if Bloomberg became the Democratic nominee. That was higher than any candidate but author Marianne Williamson at 37 percent and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) at 36 percent. Almost a quarter of Democrats said they would be disappointed if Biden became the nominee, only slightly less than Bloomberg’s share.

As I said, this comes just two weeks after Bloomberg entered the race and after initial polling that seemed to show that Democratic voters were, to say the least, unimpressed with the late entry of the former Mayor and media billionaire. Since then, and after a period during which he has bombarded the media with ads, Bloomberg has seen some success in the polls with numbers ranging between 4% and 7% that give him a 5.5% average in the RealClearPolitics polling average, which puts him in fifth place behind Biden, Sanders, Waren, and Buttigieg. On the state level, though, Bloomberg is basically a non-entity in the early primary states, which Bloomberg is bypassing in favor of the Super Tuesday states that vote on March 3rd. In California, meanwhile, which is the largest of the Super Tuesday states, he has scored 3% and 2% in the two polls conducted in the Golden State since he entered the race.

While Bloomberg has managed to get a foothold in the polls at least at the national level, that is going to end up being irrelevant if Bloomberg remains an unfavorable candidate among Democrats. In that case, he may find that 5-7% is as high as he is going to go and, of course, that’s not going to be nearly enough to make him a contender.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I just think there are better ways for Bloomberg to contribute to the cause.
    For one he could buy Fox and shut them down.

  2. Michael Reynolds says:

    I was all for giving Bloomberg a chance, but right out of the gate he blew it. He’s a super rich guy at a time when no one is thrilled by super rich guys. He needed to come out strong with a targeted attack on the billionaire class. “I am a billionaire, and I know we have too much inequality. Here’s what I’m going to do about it: A, B, C.”

    Instead he’s running these anodyne ads with waving flags and vague blather. They’re condescending and utterly fail to read the room.

    Mike, I gave you a shot but playing savior to the benighted is the entirely wrong approach.

  3. @Michael Reynolds:

    To be fair, these are the kinds of ads a candidate generally always runs at the start of a campaign. The difference is that there’s a lot more money behind them. Also, the fact that you’re in California probably means you’re getting those ads more frequently than other parts of the country

  4. senyordave says:

    Bloomberg lost me almost immediately on this:
    Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg falsely claimed that he had only apologized for the city’s racist stop-and-frisk policy after he announced his presidential bid, because “nobody asked” him about it previously.
    Considering how controversial the program was, this is one of the most ridiculous answers I’ve heard in a while.
    I agree completely with Michael’s point – Bloomberg could speak to inequality with a high degree of credibility.

  5. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’m reminded of a facebook meme:

    Headline: Why doing this thing that affects rich assholes will be disastrous for everyone.

    Byline: Some Rich Asshole.

  6. Matt says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Well I’m glad to see you’re finally coming around. It’s funny how when I made the same complaint you kept insisting I was just jealous of his money….


    Bloomberg could speak to inequality with a high degree of credibility.

    Well the thing is Bloomberg doesn’t think it’s a problem. Pretty sure he only joined the race because he is scared Sanders or Warren might actually get into a position to start taxing him at a decent rate…

    In another universe where Bloomberg is authentically worried about the poor the non white and reality/facts I would do everything I could to get him elected… I wouldn’t even hold his support for constitutionally dubious policies against him..

  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    I hadn’t seen his game plan yet. Now I have. And I don’t think I said you were jealous, that doesn’t sound like me, though I suppose it could have been. I might have suggested you just didn’t like billionaires. I’m agnostic on billionaires per se. I thought he might be smart enough to read the room. Doesn’t look like it.

  8. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I’ve utterly skeptical of any return to pre-Trump norms regarding a free society if the President is also the owner of a giant media conglomerate that will be afraid to cover him negatively. It feels like trading in one set of problems for another.

  9. Kylopod says:

    No mention of his recent comments that President Xi of China is “not a dictator”?

    At first when I heard about this I was sure it was out-of-context clickbait, and that what he really said wasn’t quite as outrageous.

    I was wrong.

    Bloomberg is kind of the worst of both worlds. The left hates him, even the center-left isn’t so hot on him–and yet he’s easy for the right to stereotype as a paternalistic nanny-stater (e.g. soda ban).

    He’s yet another exhibit from the Centrist Bubble, a crowd of culturally liberal plutocrats under the delusion that they represent a silent majority.

  10. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: For me, it’s all about seeing how much of a billion dollars we can get him to put back into the economy at large from his stock portfolio, where it only benefits Mike Bloomberg. And I really like his pitch–to the point that I might even consider registering to vote if he was the candidate.

    I wish I believed what he says and that he can do even 1% of it. But I don’t.

  11. Matt says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Well it doesn’t matter now as you see the same things I’ve been seeing. His time in office soured me hard on the man and I’ve held a dislike for him since.

    I don’t care if someone is a billionaire I do care when they insist they got there solely on their own hard work (despite daddy opening doors for them) and that income inequality doesn’t exist or isn’t a problem…

    I have no idea why people down voted you for that post. If one of you downvoters could explain the reasoning I’d appreciate it.

  12. Tyrell says:

    This concerns Michael Bloomberg and his newly announced policy concerning his media empire and their coverage.
    “Bloomberg News will avoid investigating Mike Bloomberg during his presidential campaign” (Washington Post)
    “Former Bloomberg editor says the news organization should cover Mike Bloomberg’s 2020 bid ‘aggressively’” (CNN)
    “Bloomberg on investigations ban for reporters: Learn to live with it” (NY Post)
    I have generally supported Bloomberg over most of the other candidates. That is now over.
    I will now am changing my strategy and doing some thinking(like that of General Pickett). I will present my philosophy and “dissertation” concerning Bloomberg’s ill-conceived and spurious action:
    He has pulled a real flopperoo concerning the duties and responsibilities of the press. By not allowing any investigative reporting of his campaign and those of the other Democrat candidates he shows himself to be two faced and not serious about professional journalism. He plays right into the hands of those who criticize the main stream news media as being slanted, biased, and phony.
    “It’s not news” Larry King
    This ends my presentation.