Michael Bloomberg was a target for the Democratic Primary field during his first debate stage appearance on Wednesday, being roundly criticized by several of the other five Democratic candidates participating.
The debate, held in Las Vegas days before the Nevada caucuses, differed from previous events on account of the smaller number of candidates.
Bloomberg has skyrocketed to a competitive second place in most polling of the Democratic primary, seeming to siphon most of Joe Biden’s support and staking out a claim as the Democrat to take on Bernie Sanders. The New York billionaire, who has not appeared on the ballot in the first two primary states, is aiming for a string of Super Tuesday victories.
Elizabeth Warren may have landed the most concrete blow of the night on the record-setting campaign spender, calling out Bloomberg for a history of insensitive remarks targeting women. She also went on to question Bloomberg about reports of him forcing women to sign non-disclosure agreements after sexually harassing them.
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) February 20, 2020
It’s probably safe to say that Bloomberg was the biggest loser of the night. The debate represented the first opportunity for the billionaire to face criticism from other Democrats, and he generally failed to answer the ire of the primary field with anything too meaningful.
Bloomberg’s biggest moment of the night may have been when he called out Sanders for owning three homes, likening him to the billionaires the democratic socialist frequently criticizes.
BLOOMBERG: "What a wonderful country we have! The most well-known socialist in the country is a millionaire with three houses."
SANDERS: "Well I live in Washington."
BLOOMBERG: "That's the problem."pic.twitter.com/bTWxnKVJFR
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) February 20, 2020
Sanders hit Bloomberg on his controversial record of instituting ‘Stop and Frisk’ policing practices as mayor of New York City, claiming that the program was discriminatory against Black and Latino people.
Even Buttigieg, a candidate who is well-funded by billionaire campaign donors, hit Bloomberg for his blatant attempt to buy the Democratic nomination. The somewhat more rancorous tone of the debate made previous walk-in-the-park debates appear to be a snoozefest.
Considering he at least implicitly is the frontrunner for the nomination, it’s probably safe to say Bernie Sanders exited the debate as the de facto winner. Sanders holds a resounding lead in polling for the upcoming Nevada caucuses, and a win coupled with a blow to Bloomberg’s campaign could give him the momentum required for a dominant Super Tuesday performance.
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POLL: 15% of Sanders Supporters Plan to Vote For Donald Trump in November
They prefer Trump to an establishment Democrat.
New polling from ABC suggests that Donald Trump is primed to win over a significant share of Bernie Sanders primary voters in the November general election, suggesting that some of Bernie’s Bros don’t intend to bend the knee to likely establishment Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The poll reveals that 15% of self-identifying Bernie Sanders supporters already plan on voting for Trump in November. President Trump ultimately ended up winning the votes of 12% of 2016 Sanders supporters, suggesting he’s increased his appeal to the democratic socialist’s supporters.
Some centrist Democrats have expressed their personal distaste of Sanders(and some Gabbard) supporters on account of their perceived unwillingness to vote for the Democratic nominee, forgetting that it’s the obligation of American political candidates to win the votes of citizens who chose to support their opponents in primaries.
While Trump and Sanders are on opposite ends of the American political spectrum, they could be compared in a sense that they’re both considered political populists. Trump’s policy positions on trade, some foreign policy, and American manufacturing are closer to the Sanders’ views than Joe Biden’s reheated neoliberal political program.
Perhaps even more significantly, the poll shows that Biden gauges the lowest ever recorded “enthusiasm level” for a Democratic Presidential nominee. A paltry 24% of likely Biden voters describe themselves as “very enthusiastic” to vote for him in November.
With a voter base that seems lethargic in an unprecedented fashion, it’s possible that Joe Biden could go down as the most “low energy” major Presidential candidate in recent American political history.
The poll’s general election survey reveals a tight contest between Biden and Trump, with the former Vice President leading within the margin of error by 49% to 47%. Trump’s polling has improved significantly in recent weeks in ABC’s surveys, in part because of high public approval of the federal response to the Chinese coronavirus epidemic.
Biden seems to have largely disappeared from the national conversation in the wake of the historical epidemic, only sparsely appearing on public broadcasts in bizarre gaffe-filled livestreams from a converted recreation room in his Delaware home.
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