Mega-billionaire Michael Bloomberg is trying to buy the Democratic nomination. This much is clear by the fact that he’s already on pace to outspend President Obama’s entire 2012 run by Super Tuesday, and he’s only been in the race for five weeks. To win the nomination, he doesn’t have to convince a majority of voters. He simply has to convince a majority of delegates and superdelegates thanks to the new rules set forth by the DNC.
The outrageous ad buys in Super Tuesday states is intended to send a message. That message is supposed to target voters, of course, but that’s just to get him qualified. He doesn’t need to win many states. In fact, as long as he gets some delegates in most of them by getting over 15% of the vote, he’ll be set up nicely for the convention. It’s there that his real message is going to be understood by the actual target audience. In a contested convention, which the Democrats will almost certainly have, pledges to particular candidates will no longer be in play. Sure, the candidates will make sure their pledged delegates are truly supporters of theirs, which is their right to do. But when push comes to shove as it will during the convention, Bloomberg’s hope is that he’ll unite the party behind him, and more importantly behind the good ol’ dollar.
His message to the delegates, which he’s sending now through his unprecedented ad buys, is this: “I have the money to beat Trump and I’m willing to spend it.”
His biggest competitor is not the current frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden. In fact, he intends to pull his greatest share of delegates in the second and subsequent ballots from Biden’s tally of pledges. His actual main competitor is the combined Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren ticket. We can assume one of them will drop out before the convention and will ask their pledged delegates to vote for the other. But even if both of them are still making a play for the nomination at a contested convention, one or the other will eventually drop… and may become the other’s Vice Presidential choice.
Bloomberg’s hope is that his show of financial strength will overcome the two radical progressives’ rabid base of supporters. He will tell the delegates that he’s more electable than they are and his $50+ billion in the bank is necessary to defeat President Trump. He’ll show how his policy proposals more closely align with the Democratic platform and he’ll tout himself as the common sense progressive. But the real magic will happen behind the scenes as the he pitches the superdelegates on what will be in it for them in a Bloomberg administration. The offer of more power to them combined with the promise of spending major money in the general election will give him a chance of winning the nomination.
At this point, I’d say he’s at about 50/50. The hyper-leftist candidates have more sway over the party than anyone’s willing to admit and they’ll have the Justice Democrats lobbying (and threatening) on their behalf. Milwaukee in mid-July is going to be insane.