Bloomberg stands by his campaign bus after speaking at an event in Compton Monday. Photo: Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg tells me he'd support Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump if those were his two options, but that people should understand Sanders at this moment is "so far to the left it's not practical" and that "what he wants to do would never get through Congress."

Why this matters: While Bloomberg's also seeking the Democratic nomination, he's committed to supporting whoever wins it.

  • "I don't agree with him on virtually anything," Bloomberg said of Sanders in an interview Monday at a campaign stop in Compton, Calif. "But I have committed to support the Democratic candidate because I find Trump so unsuited for the job."
  • "I would hope that if Bernie did win he would change some of his policies, or Congress would make him change some of his policies," Bloomberg said.
  • A billionaire who's self-funding his own run, Bloomberg skipped Iowa to campaign in California, the most populous state in the nation and in the March 3 Super Tuesday contests.

Driving the news: Public polling suggests Sanders could harness momentum through the first three nominating states, testing assumptions about his limits in states beyond.

  • This scenario terrifies the party establishment and corporate America — as Sanders gleefully highlighted in a recent commercial.

While Bloomberg made his fortune by understanding financial data, he said "I have no idea" whether Sanders or Trump would be better for the U.S. economy.

  • "Listen to me. Nobody, nobody, ever thought that Donald Trump would preside over the country and the stock market would go up 40 or 50 percent and unemployment would go down to essentially zero," he said.
  • I put it to Bloomberg that Trump has put in place some traditional Republican policies like aggressive deregulation and tax cuts. "He has," Bloomberg allowed. "There are people that like what he did but that hate the way he's done it.”
  • In his speeches, Bloomberg pitches himself as the "un-Trump." He describes Trump as dishonest, a poor manager, erratic, and a bully. He tells the crowd he's an engineer who knows how to build teams, nurture relationships, and "get it done" on climate change, gun safety and health insurance for everyone.

Bloomberg's states director, Dan Kanninen, said by skipping the first four states, Bloomberg has the Super Tuesday and later states effectively to himself for the next month.

  • The campaign says it will have 800 full and part-time staff and 20 field offices in California by March 3.
  • No other campaign will have the money to match that.
  • California has 415 delegates to Iowa's 41.
  • "We have staff in 35 states," said Kanninen, who worked for Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns and Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. "There probably isn't a state in the country that's not getting some of our advertising, besides the first four."

Go deeper

40 mins ago - Podcasts

The art and business of political polling

The election is just eight days away, and it’s not just the candidates whose futures are on the line. Political pollsters, four years after wrongly predicting a Hillary Clinton presidency, are viewing it as their own judgment day.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the polls, and what pollsters have changed since 2016, with former FiveThirtyEight writer and current CNN politics analyst Harry Enten.

Twitter launches warnings on election misinformation and delays

Photo: courtesy of Twitter

Twitter will start pinning notices to the top of all U.S. Twitter users’ timelines warning that results in next week’s election may be delayed and that they may encounter misinformation on mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Delayed election results are expected across many states that are handling unprecedented amounts of absentee and mailed ballots, which President Trump has baselessly called "very dangerous" and "corrupt."

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
3 hours ago - Science

NASA confirms water exists on sunny parts of the Moon

Photo: NASA/JPL/USGS

Water on the Moon might be more easily accessible than previously thought, opening up new possible avenues for future human exploration, according to a new study.

Why it matters: NASA is aiming to send people back to the Moon as part of its Artemis program by 2024, with plans to eventually create a sustainable presence on the lunar surface. That sustainability relies on mining the moon for its resources, like water.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!