Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attacked the process of selecting presidential candidates in a CNN op-ed published Monday, in which he complained Iowa and New Hampshire were not diverse enough to play such a large role.
In the op-ed, titled “Starting with Iowa and New Hampshire hurts Democrats and helps Trump,” the latecomer to the 2020 presidential campaign claimed that the Democratic Party’s own nomination process was “undemocratic,” and that it hurt the party’s ability to win in November:
The Democratic Party reflects America’s incredible diversity. But the first two voting states, Iowa and New Hampshire, are among the most homogenous in the nation. While it’s great that candidates reach out to voters in these states at every pancake breakfast and town hall around, what about African-American, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islanders, and other voters in places like Detroit, Montgomery, Phoenix, and Houston? I’ve visited them all recently, and almost to a person, voters tell me the other campaigns have almost no presence in their cities.
The problem is compounded by the fact that the two early voting states are unlikely to be consequential in the general election. So as a party, we are spending all of our time and resources outside of the battleground states we need to win.
Meanwhile, President Trump is spending his time in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina — all states we lost in 2016 by razor-thin margins. In 2020, we need to reverse at least some of those results — and we also have the chance to flip other states that voted for Trump, including Arizona and even Texas.
Don’t get me wrong: I have enormous respect for the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire. Both states are full of devoted citizens. But so are the other 48. And we need a system that both better reflects our country and puts us in a better position to defeat a candidate like Donald Trump.
Real the full op-ed here.
Though Bloomberg argues that Iowa and New Hampshire lack diversity, the other two early primary states — Nevada and South Carolina — give significant voice to Latino and African-American voters, respectively.
Bloomberg entered the presidential race last November — too late to compete successfully in the early primary states — after initially declining to run in March 2019. He is focusing his efforts on Super Tuesday, March 3, when there will be more than a dozen primary contests, including the delegate-heavy states of California and Texas.
Both Iowa and New Hampshire are generally considered “swing states” in the general election. Even though both have relatively small numbers of electoral votes, they tend to attract attention from the major party nominees. Donald Trump campaigned in both Iowa and New Hampshire in the closing days of the 2016 campaign, and held his second-to-last campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, on the night before Election Day.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.