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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. 

Go deeper:

Go deeper

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker