Democratic Voters Not Exactly Enthusiastic About Mike Bloomberg

A new poll seems to indicate that Democratic voters aren't exactly jumping on the Mike Bloomberg train.

The first poll released since former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took steps that could lead to him entering the race for President shows Democratic voters aren’t exactly thrilled about the prospect of him getting into the race:

Michael Bloomberg is running at 4 percent nationally as he teases a presidential bid, showing that he’s well known — but widely disliked — by the Democratic electorate, according to a new poll.

No contender is viewed more negatively by Democrats than the billionaire former New York City mayor.

The Morning Consult poll, released Sunday, reflects the enormous challenge confronting Bloomberg as he considers a late entry into the 2020 race. He sits in sixth place, just behind Sen. Kamala Harris of California, and would begin his campaign far outside the top tier.

Nearly 25 percent of likely primary voters view him unfavorably — the highest unfavorable rating in the field — while about 31 percent view him favorably, according to the poll.

In contrast, nearly three-quarters of Democratic primary voters view Joe Biden favorably, compared to about 18 percent who hold an unfavorable opinion of him.

Biden, the former vice president, continues to lead the primary contest nationally, with about 31 percent support. He is followed by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, at about 20 percent and 18 percent, respectively, according to the poll.

And though Bloomberg performs well in a hypothetical matchup against Donald Trump — leading him 43 percent to 37 percent — Biden, Warren and Sanders outpace the Republican president by between 4 percentage points and 6 percentage points, too.

“In terms of he’s running because of me, the last polls I looked at, I’m pretty far ahead,” Biden told reporters in New Hampshire on Friday. “If I’m not mistaken, I’m doing pretty well both relative to Trump and relative to all the people running in the Democratic primary.”

National polling is often discounted by candidates focused more narrowly on early nominating states. But it is especially significant to Bloomberg, who does not plan to campaign aggressively in the first four states, but instead focus on the broader swath of states voting on Super Tuesday.


[E}ven before the latest poll, there was little evidence of any clamoring among Democrats for a 77-year-old billionaire to join the race. Early polling by Morning Consult, in February, showed 14 percent of Democratic voters would definitely not vote for Bloomberg — the highest percentage of any candidate surveyed.

The poll also shows that 4% of Democratic voters nationally would consider Bloomberg as their top choice in a Democratic primary. This is, of course, better than many of the candidates still in the race and it puts him at 6th place without having lifted a finger. At that same time, though, it’s hardly an indication that Bloomberg would be welcomed into the race with open arms and huge support. A number like this could change, of course, if Bloomberg entered the race and started spending millions of dollars on ads in the Super Tuesday states that he apparently would concentrate on in lieu of the first four contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. At the moment, though, it doesn’t appear as if Democrats, or anyone for that matter, is all that eager to see Mike Bloomberg enter the race.

All of this comes as Axios reports that even Bloomberg’s own polling isn’t showing a very positive reaction to his potential candidacy:

Why it matters: That’s why Bloomberg didn’t run in the first place, and still might not.

  • Bloomberg, reflecting his life in business, is practical and data-driven. His formal announcement has always been contingent on whether polling showed a convincing path to victory.

Morning Consult finds that Bloomberg is the first choice of just 4% of Democratic primary voters — putting him in sixth place, between Sen. Kamala Harris and Andrew Yang.

  • Bloomberg fares “about as well as Warren, Sanders and Biden in hypothetical matchup against Trump.”
  • But “25% of Democratic primary voters express unfavorable views of the billionaire, higher than any of the 15 candidates currently in the race.”

The bottom line … Nate Silver’s take on the poll: “Biden still with a clear lead; no particular evidence Biden impacted more than others. … Not exactly the ‘seismic disruption’ that some predicted.”

It’s long been reported that Bloomberg’s own decision making on whether or not to run for President, whether it’s now or at the innumerable other times since 2006 that he’s flirted with the idea, has been largely data-driven. If that’s the case now, then additional polling showing his potential candidacy to be mostly a dud could lead him to pull the plug on his last-minute campaign before it even starts.

Update: James Joyner has his own thoughts about these numbers and Steven Taylor has thoughts about Bloomberg’s “electability.”

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, 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. DrDaveT says:

    It’s hard to interpret “I could skip the first year of the campaign and still be in the middle of the pack” as a negative. Celebrity is clearly more important than message at this stage; candidates who have to build their own celebrity from scratch are at a huge disadvantage.