Michael Bloomberg appears to be entering the presidential contest with a key advantage: lots of people know who he is. But on the flip side, many people don’t like him, according to a Morning Consult poll released Sunday. If he ultimately decides to run, Bloomberg would enter the Democratic contest with higher name recognition among the party’s voters than 11 of the current contenders. But a quarter of likely Democratic primary voters have an unfavorable view of him, which is higher than any of the other 15 current presidential hopefuls.
It isn’t all bad news for Bloomberg though as he is running at 4 percent nationally among likely Democratic primary voters. That may not seem like much, but it places him above 10 candidates currently in the race without even having campaigned yet. But there is little evidence his entry into the race would shake up any numbers where it really matters. At least not yet. Former Vice President Joe Biden still retains the top spot with 31 percent of likely Democratic primary voters saying he would be their first choice, followed by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren with 20 and 18 percent, respectively.
In a hypothetical matchup with President Donald Trump, Bloomberg leads by six percentage points, 43 percent to 37 percent, which is in line with the other top-tier candidates who lead by anywhere between four and six percentage points.
Analysts say that even if he does not win, a Bloomberg candidacy could shake up the race in any direction. Bloomberg, who is seen as a more moderate candidate, could take votes away from Biden. Or he could ultimately end up helping Biden by pouring money into campaigning against the more progressive contenders. A Bloomberg candidacy would suddenly bring a lot more talk about electability and that would be “a big boon for the Joe Bidens of the world,” Colin Strother, a veteran Democratic strategist, tells Politico. “This is good for the Amy Klobuchars of the world. It’s going to be bad for the Bernies and the Warrens.”