Bloomberg Spending Hundreds of Millions on Data-Centric Operation to Defeat Trump

Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg / Getty Images
January 31, 2019

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may not run for president, but he's building a powerful political data organization with the goal of defeating President Donald Trump in 2020.

Bloomberg, one of the wealthiest people in the country with a net worth of nearly $50 billion, is mulling a bid for the White House in what could be the most crowded Democratic presidential primary field ever. Bloomberg, as a fallback, is pouring "hundreds of millions of dollars into a data-centric political organization" to beat Trump, focusing on new ways to identify new voters and turn them out, the Atlantic reports.

Though a budget has not been set, this effort would almost certainly become the biggest and most powerful political organization in the country overnight. It would also be the only real counter to the operation that Trump’s campaign put together in 2016, which reached out to millions of voters in a more targeted, under-the-radar way, and helped deliver the election to Trump by shaping voters’ thinking for months and then activating them on Election Day.

Bloomberg's advisers said they don't believe he would run for president if former Vice President Joe Biden jumps into the race. While both he and Biden are liberals, they are viewed as more moderate than the top contenders who have already announced their bids or formed exploratory committees, such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.).

Although he hasn't decided whether to run, he's been active, criticizing ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for launching a potential independent run, touting his credentials fighting gun rights and climate change, and visiting New Hampshire this week.

Bloomberg began his career as a Democrat, then switched to the Republican Party to run for mayor in 2001, was reelected, became an independent, was reelected again, and then became a Democrat again last year. He spent more than $100 million on the 2018 midterms to boost Democrats in their ultimately successful efforts to recapture the House majority.

He endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016 and spoke at the Democratic National Convention, calling Trump a "dangerous demagogue."