November-December 2019

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The following is an article written by Washington, D.C. staple journalist, Charlie Cook. He specializes in election forecasts and political trends. He is with the National Journal and with NBC since 1994. There are those who argue that President Barack Obama won because he was an 'outsider,' and the same with President Donald Trump. Both presidents overcame great odds to become President of the United States. Are we primed for another 'outsider'?... – Patrick Atagi, Vice President of Advocacy and External Affairs T he more I think about Michael Bloomberg's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, the more I wonder whether the political cognoscenti are under- estimating his chances of winning. Do you know of a soul in the political or media worlds that is predicting he will win the party nod in Milwaukee? Most conversations about the Democratic race don't seem to take his candidacy very seriously at all. While it is acknowledged that his candidacy and cascading campaign spending could affect the contest, the conversation centers pretty much around Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, or perhaps Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders. That may be misguided, given that: • Bloomberg is a very smart guy who hires very talented campaign advisers. • He's won three elections in the largest city in the country. • He's worth, according to Forbes magazine, about $54.5 billion, making him the eighth richest person in America. He could drop $1 billion on the race. When people argue that Bloomberg has no chance, here are the arguments that we hear: First, you can't skip the early contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. (Just ask "President Giuliani," who tried that back in 2008.) Second, he has problems among minority communities, thanks to his "stop and frisk" policies while mayor. Third, with the Democratic Party trending more progressive, a billionaire businessman would hardly seem an obvious standard-bearer. Remember that the first four states are not about delegates. Out of 3,979 pledged delegates who can vote on a first ballot at the convention, only 155 (just under 4 percent) are picked in these February states. The emphasis instead is on meeting or exceeding expectations, gaining media coverage, and building momentum, in part to raise money to compete in the remaining states and territories. After these four, it becomes about delegate math. So how does Bloomberg fit in here? According to Advertising Analytics, Bloomberg is spending at least $50,000 on advertising in 100 television markets, blanketing not just the 14 states that hold Policy at Play Thinking Outside the Box – President Michael Bloomberg? By Charlie Cook of the National Journal 10 PalletCentral • November-December 2019 CAPITOL HILL CORNER Michael Bloomberg

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