Michael BloombergMichael BloombergEngel scrambles to fend off primary challenge from left It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Liberals embrace super PACs they once shunned MORE is inching closer to a 2020 presidential run, filing an official statement of candidacy on Thursday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The filing isn’t a definitive sign that Bloomberg will seek the Democratic presidential nomination next year and an aide to the former New York City mayor told The Hill that he has not yet made a final decision on whether to launch a campaign.
But, the aide added, filing a statement of candidacy with the FEC was “another step towards running.”
The filing is likely to stir consternation in the Democratic primary field, which has seen its number of candidates increase in recent weeks. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickIt’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden Andrew Yang endorses Biden in 2020 race MORE announced last week that he would mount an eleventh-hour bid for the party’s nomination, and Bloomberg has already taken steps to get on the ballot in a handful of states, including Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.
Both Bloomberg and Patrick ruled out presidential campaigns last winter with Patrick citing family as his reason for punting on a White House run and Bloomberg deciding against a campaign after coming to the conclusion that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE would prove to be too formidable a primary opponent.
That calculus has changed in recent months, however, as Biden has seen his once-clear frontrunner status erode. Polls currently show a fluid race between the top four candidates: Biden, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE.
Some Democratic leaders and party elites have grown anxious in recent months about the field of candidates, worrying that no one in the current lineup will be able to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in 2020. Bloomberg’s advisers have made the argument that there is still room in the primary contest for a moderate that they see as more electable than the current slate of candidates.
While he has yet to make a final decision on a presidential run, Bloomberg has already started spending money on 2020. He is launching a $100 million digital ad campaign attacking Trump in crucial battleground states and is expected to spend between $15 million and $20 million on voter registration efforts.
If he ultimately decides to mount a bid for the White House, Bloomberg is expected to forego a campaign in the four early primary and caucus states that have historically defined presidential nominating contests and will instead double down on delegate-rich Super Tuesday states like California.
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“If we run, we are confident we can win in states voting on Super Tuesday and beyond, where we will start on an even footing,” Howard Wolfson, a longtime adviser to Bloomberg, said earlier this month.
Updated at 1:49 p.m.