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.
A 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.