The jury is still out on whether or not billionaire Michael Bloomberg will throw his hat into the 2020 presidential ring, but regardless of whether the former New York City mayor actually runs for the White House, he’s planning on spending a boatload of cash to deny Donald Trump a second term.
According to Democratic operatives who spoke to Politico this week, Bloomberg is set to spend a minimum of $500 million on the 2020 race. If he runs, that money will go to furthering his own campaign. If he doesn’t, he will “run an unprecedented data-heavy campaign designed to operate as a shadow political party for the eventual Democratic nominee.”
Bloomberg has assembled a political team that, since late November, has been meeting at least once weekly in the Manhattan headquarters of Bloomberg Philanthropies to consider what some aides have called “Plan A” and “Plan B.”
Plan A is straightforward: Bloomberg runs for president as a Democrat, not as an independent candidate as he had mused privately in the past. According to Plan B, Bloomberg uses all the data — ranging from meticulously researched profiles of voters to polling data on the top issues that move the electorate — and field staff to help the otherwise-outgunned Democratic Party nominee to end Trump’s presidency.
Bloomberg said Friday at an event in Orlando, Fla., that he’ll make a decision in “three more weeks.”
It’s impossible to dismiss this as unimportant. Even if Bloomberg sticks to that $500 million figure, it will represent an enormous sum of money. And think what you want, but the fact is that money can absolutely influence a political race – particularly the brutal fight that will be the 2020 election. No doubt, Trump can match that amount and then some – his war chest is already rumored to far exceed anything the Democrats have come up with. But with Bloomberg throwing money around like it’s his last days on earth, it would be foolish to think that it won’t be a factor.