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Mike Bloomberg officially announces presidential run

Mike Bloomberg
Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Billionaire and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg officially announced on Sunday that he's running for president as a Democrat.

"I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage. The stakes could not be higher. We must win this election. And we must begin rebuilding America. I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead."
— Mike Bloomberg

Why it matters: The 2020 primary field is growing at a time when it should be winnowing three months before the Iowa caucuses. A majority of Democratic voters have signaled that they’re already satisfied with the current slate of candidates, according to recent polling.

  • Historically speaking, it's also quite difficult to become the nominee when jumping in this late in the race. But Bloomberg’s entrance into reflects Democrats’ burning desire to do whatever it takes to defeat Trump.
  • A Morning Consult poll with Bloomberg in the race found that just 4% of 2,225 registered Democratic voters would pick the former mayor as their first choice to take on the president next year.

The big picture: The official announcement, which has been teased for weeks, follows reports that Bloomberg will launch a $100 million TV ad campaign in several key primary states — the single biggest ad buy in American campaign history. Bloomberg said he will not accept donations and will self-fund his campaign.

  • If the DNC keeps its individual donor requirements, this means that Bloomberg will not appear on any Democratic debate stage.
  • Bloomberg's policy strengths for the primary include his leadership on gun control and climate change. Two of his biggest challenges include building alliances with African American and female voters.

What to watch: One of Bloomberg's biggest advantages — his wealth — is also his biggest obstacle. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will likely take aim at the new billionaire candidate, who in many ways represents the corporate culture their campaigns are taking on. 

  • Bloomberg hopes to use compressed Super Tuesday contests and divided sentiment about frontrunners to his advantage, as he’s unlikely to make much of a dent in early-voting states Iowa or New Hampshire. 

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