Early in the process, Biden took all of the air out of the room and suffocated the candidacies of Harris, Booker, Bennet and a few others. Biden is way past his prime and routinely insults people who ask questions at campaign stops but he has name recognition, money and his poll support kept other candidates off the debate stage.
Interestingly, Butitieg survived over more experienced people like Inslee and Bennet and Hickenlooper and Gillebrande. My sense is Bennet or some candidate with a bit of experience could have taken a lot of the Biden vote and might be appealing to Mayor Pete’s supporters. People who valued experience went for Biden and people who wanted someone young and valued the ability of a candidate to think on his feet went for Butitieg. Maybe if Biden had not run we would have gotten a candidate who could do both.
Biden stumbled badly in Iowa and New Hampshire; however, he persists on the ballot and continues to draw 10 percent of the vote not enough to get delegates but drawing support from other centrists. Sanders will have a larger plurality and get more delegates with Biden and now Bloomberg in the race. The centrist field is now split four ways. Candidates with fewer than 15 percent get no delegates in many states. Sanders can win the nomination with 38 percent of the vote given this field.
What is Bloomberg thinking? He has not been on the debate stage for a long time. He is 78 years old. He has done a lot of good as a philanthropist. However, he has taken a lot of positions on issues like financial services and stop and frisk that make it really difficult for him to unify the party. His support for either of two viable centrist candidates Klobuchar and Butitieg who more or less support his world view could determine the nomination. But instead of picking a horse that can win the nomination and unify the party he decides to run and splinter the party.
This race will be over on Super Tuesday if the field persists as it is currently structured or if Warren fails to pull off a Hail Mary. I accept the conventional wisdom that a Sanders nomination is a large gift to Trump.
So, Why are Biden and Bloomberg in this race?