A new poll has come out and it appears that Michael Bloomberg, the would-be “non-partisan” centrist, has a likability problem. The Monmouth University survey of registered voters shows the multi-billionaire former New York City mayor coming in with a 54% unfavorable rating, more than twice as large as his 26% positive figure.
Bloomberg breaks even in the poll, released Dec. 10, among Democrat and Dem-leaning voters (40% positive to 39% negative). His support craters, however, with Republican and GOP-leaning voters (12% favorable to 72% unfavorable) and, most alarmingly, among declared independents (26% to 51%).
“Bloomberg said he got into this race because he wants to defeat [President] Trump, but his campaign kicks off with even lower ratings than the incumbent. That is not the most auspicious start, but views of Bloomberg are not as deeply held as they are for Trump, so he has room to shift those opinions,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
But is that really true? Such a resounding negative perception of a just-announced candidate argues instead that Bloomberg brings a clearly defined caricature of himself into the race, and that it will serve as significant baggage moving forward.
Running on Bigness
A net worth of some $55 billion and a carpet-bombing television ad campaign to kick off his bid has led to immediate accusations that Bloomberg is trying to buy his way into the White House. Progressive firebrand Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was quick to pounce. “If you can’t build grassroots support for your candidacy, you have no business running for president,” Sanders said of the ad blitz. Adding weight to that charge is the Bloomberg campaign’s stated plan to run him as a macro-candidate. “The theory of the case is that we are running a national campaign,” Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey told The Washington Post. “From my point of view, no one has ever run a national primary campaign since Kennedy in 1960.”
As part of this “national campaign,” Bloomberg is skipping over the first four primaries. It’s hard not to notice that those happen to be in heavily rural Iowa and New Hampshire, and the non-cosmopolitan states of Nevada and South Carolina. He is banking on Super Tuesday, in which heavily populated California and Texas will be featured attractions, to propel him to the top. It is an approach perfectly in line with the urban globalist sensibility that most truly defines the man.
Bloomberg is a staunch and unapologetic urbanite in an electoral system that does not let megalithic states like New York and California pick the president every four years. It’s clear that Heartland voters have noticed this. Climate change activists are already plagued by charges of detached elitism. Bloomberg took this to another level in a 2015 Foreign Affairs magazine article in which he called for major cities to usurp power traditionally afforded to national governments on behalf of the climate battle.
“The world’s first Metropolitan Generation is coming of age, and as a result, the world will be shaped increasingly by metropolitan values,” he wrote. “That is a hopeful development for humanity, and an overpowering counterweight to the forces of repression and intolerance that arise out of religious fanaticism and that now pose a grave threat to the security of democratic nations.”
How do you think that kind of talk would go over in Iowa? But he didn’t stop there.
“As those in the Metropolitan Generation assume leadership positions, cities will become not just more culturally significant but also more politically powerful,” Bloomberg continued. “Influence will shift gradually away from national governments and toward cities.”
These sentiments give rise to the more precise notion that Bloomberg is not running a “national” campaign at all but rather an urban one, hoping that the sprawling blue bubbles that can be found throughout America, but especially in the more populous states, can carry him to victory.
CityLab urban investment conferences are a partnership between the globalist Aspen Institute, the leftist publication The Atlantic and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable arm of Michael Bloomberg. On Dec. 11, Bloomberg Media announced that it additionally intends to purchase The Atlantic’s CityLab media website. The site has run articles calling for cities to have their own foreign ministers and conduct their own international diplomacy. In a revealing 2017 CityLab article, Ian Klaus called for cities to band together for “collective action” to “amplify influence.”
“Recognizing the challenge of the existing institutions, key philanthropies and leaders have constructed new platforms,” Klaus wrote. He then mentioned a group called C40, which lists Bloomberg Philanthropies first among its “Strategic Funders.” These new Bloomberg-backed urban networks “recognize that they cannot naively depend on global and national governance to address problems that directly affect their cities. They’ll have to take action on their own,” he continued.
Far from being a push for local sovereignty, Bloomberg and his CityLab writers are calling for large cities to drive and control policy in the nations in which they happen to be located. Above all, Michael Bloomberg is the candidate of urban supremacy. His entire campaign strategy tells as much. Is it any wonder people across America don’t like him?
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