After Iowa Mess, Bloomberg Is Doubling Down

Democratic presidential contender has a big plan
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2020 3:33 PM CST
After Iowa Caucus Mess, Bloomberg Has a Plan
Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks at a campaign event at the Dollarhide Community Center in Compton, Calif., Monday, Feb. 3, 2020.   (Scott Varley/The Orange County Register via AP)

"It turns out that a lot of things we thought were true, are true." So says Michael Bloomberg's campaign manager after the Iowa caucus mess, which Bloomberg's campaign thinks paves the way for the billionaire former New York City mayor to nab the Democratic nomination for president. Bloomberg has, since the beginning of his 2020 campaign, planned to ignore the four February contests, which don't have many of the delegates needed to secure the nomination, in favor of campaigning—and spending tons of money on ads—in the larger states that start voting in March. His advisers argued that the strategy, which the New York Times calls "unprecedented," could work if no moderate candidate came out of February with a clear upper hand, and after the chaos in Iowa resulted in no winner immediately emerging, Bloomberg is doubling down on the plan.

How so? By literally doubling what the AP calls the "already massive" amount he was planning to spend on ads, plus doubling his campaign staff to a total of about 2,100. Strategists say Bloomberg authorized his team to move forward on both of those things Tuesday morning. While campaigning in California Monday, Bloomberg told the Times it's "much more efficient" to focus on the "big states" and the "swing states," but that the "conventional wisdom" is that a candidate can't win without the early ones. But "those are old rules," he said. Indeed, despite the fact that Bloomberg didn't campaign in Iowa, his name could be found in headlines about the mess: "Bloomberg may be big winner from Iowa debacle," for example, and "Why the Iowa caucus fiasco probably helps Mike Bloomberg." (As this column recently explained, if Bernie Sanders ends up the February frontrunner, that's great news for Bloomberg.)

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