There’s a tired phrase that’s getting oft-repeated about the 2020 Democratic primary: “The crowded field just got more crowded.”
Well, today it did, and here we are with yet another Democrat launching a Presidential campaign to try and win the Democratic nomination and unseat Donald Trump.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his intention to seek the 2020 Democratic nomination. He’s been visiting several early primary states for months with many analysts seeing a campaign in the works for weeks now.
CNN reports on the details of de Blasio’s announcement:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio entered the 2020 Democratic presidential primary Thursday morning, casting himself as the most accomplished progressive pick in a field of 23 candidates vying for a chance to challenge President Donald Trump next year.
In his announcement video, de Blasio took aim at Trump, calling him a “bully,” then in an interview on ABC later in the morning said the President is “playing a big con on America.”
“Every New Yorker knows, he’s a con artist,” de Blasio said. “We know his tricks, we know his playbook.”
The mayor also touted a slate of policy wins, including universal Pre-K and his successful push for a $15 minimum wage.
“I know we can do it,” he said, “because I’ve done it here in the largest, toughest city in this country.”
De Blasio will hit the trail later Thursday, visiting Iowa before heading to South Carolina for events this weekend. The two-term mayor, who in 2017 became the first Democrat re-elected to his office in more than three decades, joins the race after months of deliberations and a handful of visits to early-voting states.
There’s just one problem for de Blasio as he embarks on his early state campaign tour and begins to tout his record in New York City. According to polling, his own constituents don’t want him to run for President, according to Quinnipiac:
De Blasio should not run for president, New York City voters say 76 – 18 percent. Every listed party, gender, racial, borough and age group agrees that the mayor should not hit the campaign trail.
It would be bad for New York City if de Blasio runs for president, voters say 47 – 32 percent, including 43 – 35 percent among Democrats.
“Mayor Bill de Blasio’s flirtation with a 2020 White House bid is prompting a rare moment of unity among New Yorkers. Three-quarters of them say, ‘Mr. Mayor: Don’t do it,'” said Mary Snow, polling analyst for the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Despite voter sentiment in his home city, there’s virtually no downside to running for President, especially with the possibility of getting on the debate stage.
De Blasio’s policies may mirror those of Bernie Sanders, among others, but his personality and name recognition won’t fly anywhere outside the five boroughs. De Blasio is probably the first one to admit this if you pinned him down, but being a “former presidential candidate” has a lot of perks. It gets you more speaking engagements, more guest spots on cable news, and the greater chance that maybe you’ll get the opportunity to write a book.
Furthermore, with De Blasio sitting in City Hall, it’s likely that after his tenure as Mayor, he’ll be likely looking for an upgrade to a U.S. Senate seat or maybe even to Governor. Running a Presidential campaign and gathering more name recognition and a wider fundraising base helps in that regard.
De Blasio’s not going to be president, and won’t get past a half percent in the polls, if that, but he will add another layer to the already crowded 2020 field.
It’s literally turning into a new reality show called 19 Candidates And Counting – but De Blasio makes number 24 of major declared candidates, so we’re well past 19. Is there ever a chance that one of these “possible” contenders simply decides that enough is enough and maybe we don’t need number 25 and 26?
Well, one just opted not to run after months of speculation. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has decided he will sit this one out. De Blasio should’ve taken a cue from McAuliffe and watched this one from the sideline.