New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has entered the Big Top, rounding out the number of acrobats, jugglers, and red-nosed clowns vying for president of the United Sates in the Democrat primary to one shy of an even two dozen. Running on an anti-Trump platform sprinkled with the confetti of issues other candidates have previously paraded in front of the American audience, de Blasio brings nothing new or interesting to the main event.
The announcement, much like former Vice President Joe Biden’s heavily edited script, was distributed through social media in video format. He began by saying there is “plenty of money” floating around the country but that it’s “in the wrong hands.” A socialism-lite approach with an upbeat, jazzy score.
Of course, he focused on President Trump as a “bully,” and claimed to be the only guy to take him down – honking that he had already: “Donald Trump must be stopped, I’ve beaten him before and I will do it again.”
He didn’t elaborate on the details of the alleged Trump takedown, but he gushed about his record of touting progressive initiatives in code – in attempt to please the radical left and the old white guard of the Democratic Party.
Which is exactly what was expected.
The Unlikeable Candidate – It Worked for Dems the Last Time
Reminding the viewers of the spectacular state his beloved Big Apple is in, he declared “I will not rest until this government serves working people.”
De Blasio did push the $15 per hour minimum, and he boasts of his citizens now earning a decent baseline wage, enjoying guaranteed paid sick leave, and comprehensive healthcare. What he didn’t touch on was the facts: Businesses are now cutting hours and positions to stay afloat.
But unlike the other white guys leading early polls and peddling around in circles tooting their horns, de Blasio doesn’t seem to have much of a following.
Quinnipiac University recently found 76% of New York City voters said they believed de Blasio shouldn’t run, giving the mayor “an anemic 42-44 percent job approval rating.” So, sure, that’s one city – but it isn’t looking much better anywhere else in the country.
Statewide, his popularity plummeted. A Marist College survey found a whopping 65% of registered voters in the state of New York said they would be unhappy if he were the Democratic nominee in 2020.
A Monmouth University poll found de Blasio to be the only Democratic candidate with a negative net favorability rating (-6 points). Ouch. The poll went on to remind us that “most Democrats with de Blasio’s name recognition (about 40%) or better have scores of +20 points or above.”
Hi first foray into the arena for a 2020 run was in Iowa in February. He was met with a raucous crowd of 42 – not 4,200 or 42,000 – just 42 people who may simply have been getting out of the cold. As March roared to life, de Blasio was in New Hampshire entertaining 19 spectators.
This man might have to dangle a pork chop from his collar to get a dog to like him – and even that’s not a given. The Democrats just don’t just not care for him – they actively dislike him. It’s the unfortunate opposite of a poignant Sally Field moment.
All this in a race where just to be eligible for a podium at the presidential primary debates one must garner 1% approval in the polls or find at least 65,000 individual donors. At this rate, unless he can air up those flat tires on his campaign tricycle, de Blasio might find himself watching the big show from the cheap seats with the other also-rans.
Why? Just Why?
Shirking the numbers from polls, his early failures in states that predict presidential outcomes, and a platform that is no different from 22 other presidential hopefuls, one might wonder why de Blasio is even in the race. While he is running on a hamster wheel, the latest shiny objects, South Bend, IN, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA), are sucking up the spotlight.
The likeable, mainstream, handsy, hair-sniffing former Vice President Joe Biden is at the head of the pack with a 20-point lead over the frumpy millionaire socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). If de Blasio can’t manage to vault ahead of those two … And frankly, no one understands how even those old white guys are tolerated by the new Democratic Party.
Maybe, just maybe, the de Blasio strategy is stealthily staying in last place until the others have self-destructed, dramatically exiting the colorful clown car and entering the ring as all eyes are trained upon him. Whatever his plan, in this first stage of candidates vying for attention and traction, this particular mayor hasn’t yet earned the prestige of center ring.
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