The candidacy of Joe Biden, as Mike Bloomberg must have known it would, has hit a couple of serious roadblocks in the past few months. Not the least of which, is Biden’s consistently poor debate performances, constant gaffes and lagging fundraising.
But Bloomberg must have seen that writing on the wall months ago.
Former vice president Joe Biden’s campaign is about to hit quite a few more roadblocks in the weeks to come. And Bloomberg probably knows that too.
Biden’s support from the African-American community is slipping as more of Biden’s record becomes mainstream knowledge. Worse, a new book scheduled for release this week and already at number one on the best-seller list levels some pretty serious accusations against the Biden family.
These accusations of influence-pandering have dogged Biden for months, if not years. That Biden has yet to parry Trump’s knife-thrust in drawing Hunter Biden into the public eye illustrates best how ill-prepared Biden will be to handle these new revelations.
Challenging supporters to push-up contests when confronted by questions about it isn’t going to cut it. Unless you are Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, that is.
All this must have accounted into Mike Bloomberg’s election path calculus when he was considering a run. Terrible commercials aside, you do not become a self-made billionaire by wasting money on hopeless causes.
Bloomberg sees a path to win, or he wouldn’t be in this race.
The path Bloomberg likely sees now is the same as it has been for the last few months: Right through Joe Biden.
Biden is poised on the brink of failure and Mike Bloomberg plans to be there when it inevitably happens.
The polls, of course, still all say that Biden has the best chance in this race against Trump. But anyone putting too much faith in polls wants to be surprised on election day.
If the last two election cycles have taught us anything, and as recent elections around the world have further proven, polls aren’t as reliable as once they were.
Democrats taking comfort in polls showing every Democrat beating Trump handily in November is living in a fool’s paradise. Hasn’t anyone ever watched a baseball game? Or any other type of professional sports competition?
There is nothing experts don’t know about the athletes, the matchups, the coaches, and the fields of play in professional sports today. Sports betting organizations and odds-makers know everything from what kind of diet the players are on, to their injury history, to what side of the bed they sleep on- probably.
Sports pundits have a great deal more information, and insider information, about the athletes who will lead a team to victory- or not- than politicians and statisticians will ever have about U.S. voters.
There is no shortage of historical information, either. No shortage of precedent. The history of the team, the franchise, all the coaches, all the players is readily available information. The annals sports statistics contains every modern game ever won or lost, in addition to the weather and field conditions that day.
There is probably video footage from every game most coaches and players in professional sports today have ever played in. There are a few notable exceptions, of course, known for longevity in a field not known for longevity.
And even with this wealth of information, with billions of dollars on the line, sports forecasters and statisticians still get it wrong all the time. That, as they say in sports, is why they go ahead and play the games, even “knowing” who will win.
If these experts didn’t get it wrong- all the time- no one would need to watch the games and there would be no need to play them. In any game, one team is favored to win based on a fantastically detailed and almost incomprehensibly technical metric.
That team doesn’t always win. Not at all. Not even close.
Because no one really knows what will happen. Anything could happen; everything from a faulty cleat to an unusually sunny day to a misunderstood signal. Even a stolen signal and a nefarious plot involving trash-can lids.
It is for this reason, polls suggesting Joe Biden is a strong candidate in the 2020 race can safely be ignored. Anyone who has watched even one of Biden’s recent debate performances understands why.
Mike Bloomberg knows this. He is playing his hand perfectly, too. He is positioning himself to be the obvious moderate choice when Biden withdraws. And he may well be. There is movement showing Bloomberg’s saturation of campaign ads is making inroads with voters.
But Bloomberg is making a classic mistake. You don’t win by playing your hand; you win by playing your opponent’s hand.
What Bloomberg is missing in all this, is that his attempts to buy enough name recognition to give him a good shot at the nomination falls flat on its face in the general election.
Low-information voters who will be swayed by hearing “Mike Bloomberg” about 10,000 times between now and November won’t only be hearing ads for Mike Bloomberg.
There is someone else in the race, of course, who has the franchise on low-information, low-engagement voters. And he has better name recognition than Mike Bloomberg can ever hope to buy in the next ten months.
Arguably, Mike Bloomberg might know what he is facing in the Trump campaign.
But no one really has any video footage to review on the Trump campaign. In 2016, slap-dash doesn’t even begin to describe the process by which Trump managed to get himself elected President of the United States.
2020 will be much, much different.
Trump’s 2020 campaign is a highly-sophisticated, digital marketing masterpiece backed by record-breaking fundraising numbers. Trump’s massive rallies have captured the kind of data about voters and likely voters about which Democrats can only dream.
Unbiased, impartial- sometimes global- experts in marketing, digital media, statistics and metrics have called Trump’s campaign the best digital marketing campaign in the world. Not the best political digital marketing campaign; the best digital marketing campaign- period.
There is no voter who isn’t already virulently and almost painfully averse to Trump who isn’t being targeted by the Trump campaign machine.
It is difficult to see why Mike Bloomberg’s appeal to the middle and bet on name recognition is a better bet for Democrats than someone like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.
While polarizing, Sanders would have a much better chance of energizing the progressive base and turning out every potential Democratic voter than Mike Bloomberg or Joe Biden.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)