This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 17, 2020:
Bookmakers like Bookies.com track the betting behavior of people putting real money down on their political opinions. According to Bookies.com’s Anthony Bennett, “the fastest riser is a candidate who did not even run in New Hampshire or in the Iowa caucus: Michael Bloomberg.” The former mayor of New York has leapt ahead of Biden and only slightly trails Bernie Sanders for the Democrat Party’s nomination for president.
Said Bennett: “Former Vice President Joe Biden’s odds are in free fall, after his dreadful fifth-place showing in New Hampshire … Bloomberg … is closing on Sanders fast.”
Bennett added: “Bloomberg is now in third place in national polling. Not bad for a guy who has not been on the ballot yet.”
Biden’s odds of winning the nomination, on the other hand, are diminishing by the day. Said Bennett: “The shocking fall of presumed front-runner Biden … continues. He is fifth in pledged delegates following the first two contests. Polls indicated he was strongly in contention in New Hampshire until he wasn’t.”
Joseph Curl, writing for the Daily Wire, said that “back in November, Bloomberg’s odds were non-existent. Now, he’s got a one-in-three chance to take the Democratic presidential nomination…. Biden, on the other hand is plunging in the odds. Back in October his odds [of winning the nomination] were above 53% but he’s fallen all the way down to just 9.8%.”
The disruption caused by Bloomberg’s late but carefully planned and well-funded entry into the race has turned the contest into a “demolition derby”, according to Democrat pollster Brad Bannon (no relation to Steve Bannon, former advisor to the president): “The wrecks from this year’s Democratic demolition derby are the biggest obstacles to the party’s victory in November.”
That derby’s destruction is being tracked by RealClearPolitics’ aggregation of polling on the race. In late January, according to a Harvard/Harris poll, Biden held a commanding lead of 31 percent over Sanders, at 20 percent. Barely one month later a Monmouth poll showed Biden’s support collapsing to 16 percent while Sanders jumped to 26 percent. That’s an astounding reversal of more than 20 points in a month.
In the meantime, Bloomberg registered just four percent in the Economist/YouGov poll taken in late January, but he skyrocketed to 16 percent just two weeks later, in a poll taken by Monmouth.
Bloomberg’s gamble that he can buy the election — or at least persuade enough low-information voters that he is a viable candidate with his flood of positive advertising — appears to be paying off, at least thus far. Said former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich: “I expect a four-person race after Super Tuesday [Bloomberg, Sanders, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar]. And that’s when the Democrat Party’s rules become important. With their wacky rules [prohibiting superdelegates from voting in the first round], the Democrats could easily slide into a brokered convention.”
This is just as it was planned by Michael Bloomberg and his brain trust: to so disrupt the proceedings leading to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in July that no one wins on the first ballot. As Bennett stated, “Bloomberg … is closing on Sanders fast…. It’s hard to imagine a way it could’ve worked out better for Bloomberg.”
It’s not over but it’s getting closer. Bloomberg doesn’t need to win the nomination. He just needs to siphon off enough delegates to keep anyone else from winning on the first ballot.