Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is on the rise, leading lower-tier candidates like Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Andrew Yang (D), a Hill-HarrisX poll released Monday revealed.
The poll, taken between November 30 and December 1, 2019, among 1,001 registered voters, showed the former New York City mayor emerging as the clear leader of the lower-tier of candidates, garnering six percent support among likely Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters. Harris, Klobuchar, Yang, Tom Steyer (D), and Julián Castro (D) fell well below with two percent support each.
Meanwhile, the poll showed Joe Biden (D), remarkably, leading the pack with 31 percent support – a full 16 points ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who came in second place with 15 percent support. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) followed with ten percent support, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) fell closely behind with nine percent support.
The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent, making Bloomberg’s lead over the lower-tier candidates firm:
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) December 2, 2019
Bloomberg’s rise follows a flurry of criticism from his counterparts, who have lamented billionaires thinking they can “buy our elections.”
“If you had a couple billion dollars, you could announce your candidacy for president and be taken seriously, even if you were the dumbest person on Earth,” Sanders wrote in a tweet on Monday.
“Billionaires should not be able to buy our elections and we’re going to change that,” he added.
If you had a couple billion dollars, you could announce your candidacy for president and be taken seriously, even if you were the dumbest person on Earth.
Billionaires should not be able to buy our elections and we’re going to change that.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 2, 2019
Both Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have sharply criticized Bloomberg’s multimillion-dollar ad blitz.
“So I am here during day two of Michael Bloomberg’s 37 million dollar ad buy,” Warren said at a campaign event in Ankeny, Iowa, last week.
“Michael Bloomberg is making a bet about Democracy in 2020. He doesn’t need people,” she continued. “He only needs bags and bags of money.”
“He doesn’t need volunteers. And if you get out and knock on 1,000 doors, he’ll just spend another $37 million to flood the airwaves,” she added, calling it “fundamentally wrong”:
Sen. Warren on Bloomberg entering the race:
“His view is that he doesn’t need people who knock on doors … If you get out and knock on 1,000 doors, he’ll just spend another $37M to flood the airwaves — and that’s how he plans to buy a nomination in the Democratic Party.” pic.twitter.com/nH6xY7Jppm
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 25, 2019
Bloomberg, who is not accepting donations for his primary bid, has signaled that he will spend “whatever it takes” to defeat the president in 2020.