Money Talks — Tom Steyer Makes a Move
Author: Greg Valliere
January 10, 2020
OF ALL THE REMAINING DEMOCRATS running for president, the least impressive candidate of all — Tom Steyer — is making a move. New polls show him in double digits in the early primaries in South Carolina and Nevada, enough for Steyer to qualify for next Tuesday’s debate in Iowa.
WITH MIKE BLOOMBERG making a modest move, the message to candidates seems clear — don’t waste your time trudging in the slush and snow of Iowa and New Hampshire, just saturate the country with slick TV ads in states that will vote later, especially in the quasi-national primary on Super Tuesday, March 3.
HOW LUCKY IS DONALD TRUMP? Joe Biden, who frequently confuses Iran and Iraq, should do well in Iowa and New Hampshire, but Bernie Sanders has the most important asset — lots of passionate supporters, more than any politician other than Trump. Sanders will do well in the two early contests, but if the 78-year-old socialist really has a chance of winning the nomination, there would be a fierce push-back from Barack Obama and party elders.
BLOOMBERG WOULD HAVE A CHANCE IN NOVEMBER, but he needs to win the nomination first. His ads are excellent and he can easily outspend Steyer. Bloomberg needs Biden to stumble next Tuesday, and that’s always possible. As for the other candidates, Pete Buttigieg has leveled off, Elizabeth Warren has won some impressive endorsements, and the rest are stuck in the single digits. It’s still Biden’s race to lose.
THE GOOD NEWS FOR TRUMP continues to defy the skeptics. This morning’s Financial Times reports on a new poll by the Peterson Institute showing that a majority of Americans now believe he has been good for the economy. A formal
signing ceremony with China on a modest trade deal will come soon. The Democrats have stumbled on impeachment. And Iran clearly blinked this week, although it’s premature for an all-clear signal in that volatile area of the world.
FROSTING ON THE CAKE FOR TRUMP is the surge by Steyer, a sign that many Democrats are still dissatisfied with the current pack. Trump soon will have a nasty nickname for Steyer; with his typical understatement, Trump called the billionaire “a crazed and stumbling lunatic” last fall. More substantively, Steyer will have to explain his infatuation with fossil fuels a decade ago, before he found religion.
THE QUESTION WE HEAR MOST FREQUENTLY is whether it’s too late for a fresh challenger to enter the Democrats’ race — Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, etc.? It’s too late; state filing deadlines have come and gone. So the demoralized Democrats have to hope that Biden does as well next Tuesday night as he did in last month’s debate; he’s the party’s best hope, by default.
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