Election 2020: Castro winds down, Bloomberg revs up

Photo: NBC News

Photo: NBC News

Several developments arose this week in the hunt for the Democratic nomination in 2020. On Monday, Julian Castro fired his staff in both New Hampshire and South Carolina in order to focus his campaign’s efforts in Iowa and Nevada. 

An official familiar with the campaign reports that the efforts include a $50,0000 television ad buy in Iowa. The ad buy and similar actions represent a long-shot attempt by the Castro campaign to remain in the race for the Democratic nomination.

However, while Castro may soon end his campaign, another Democratic hopeful may be quick to replace him. Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor and current CEO of Bloomberg L.P., filed to run in Alabama’s Democratic presidential primary on Friday. According to Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson, Bloomberg only filed in Alabama due to the state’s early filing deadline, but he plans to skip the first four primary contests. 

While Bloomberg did file to run in Alabama, he has not officially decided to run for president in 2020. 

If Bloomberg were to officially enter the race, the dynamic in the Democratic field would surely shift -- but how much? A CNN/Des Moines Register poll from March shows that 27% of likely Democratic voters viewed him favorably, while 38% said they had an unfavorable view. Those metrics mean that -- back in March -- Bloomberg was one of the least popular candidates who were considering a run at the presidency. 

However, an article from The New York Times cites Bloomberg’s “immense personal wealth, centrist views and close ties to the political establishment” as factors that would make him an “instantaneous threat” to former Vice President Joe Biden. Bloomberg initial decision not to run was based on the apparent strength of Biden, which has since dwindled as the former VP has been struggling to raise money and defend his moderate platform. 

An official decision from Bloomberg may not be known at the present moment, but we do know that, as Biden’s support plateaus, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has risen in the polls, making her the current frontrunner in the hunt for the Democratic nomination.