Former New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a statement Monday regarding independents running in the 2020 presidential election. Bloomberg, who is weighing a 2020 run, re-registered as a Democrat in October.
“Now I have never been a partisan guy — and it’s no secret that I looked at an independent bid in the past,” he wrote. “In fact I faced exactly the same decision now facing others who are considering it. The data was very clear and very consistent. Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win. That is truer today than ever before.”
“In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President,” he continued. “That's a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can't afford to run it now. We must remain united, and we must not allow any candidate to divide or fracture us. The stakes couldn’t be higher.”
Bloomberg ran as an independent for his third term as mayor and won his first two terms as a Republican. He decided against an independent presidential run in 2016.
Bloomberg’s statement on independent runs comes just after former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that he was seriously considering a run for president as a “centrist independent.”
That announcement was met with strong discouragement from many Democrats who fear an independent bid would ultimately help President Trump be re-elected.
Julián Castro, the Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Obama who is an announced 2020 Democratic presidential contender, said that Schultz should think about the “negative impact” of an independent run.
"I have a concern that if he did run, that, essentially, it would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting re-elected,” he said.