Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg’s 2020 campaign chief Kevin Sheekey defended the former New York City mayor’s decision to skip early nominating states after his late entry into the crowded primary field.
“Mike is getting in this race because he thinks that Donald Trump is an existential crisis and he thinks he’s on a path to victory and he’s getting in to alter that dynamic,” Sheekey said Monday in an interview with CNN.
Sheekey said the general election is only about six states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona.
“That’s the whole general election. And right now Donald Trump is winning, he is winning that election. It’s very tough for people who don’t live in New York or California to understand that, but that is what’s happening,” Sheekey said.
2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg’s campaign manager on their strategy to win the Democratic primary: “We’re going to talk to everyone in the country at once and we’re particularly going to overtalk to those people who need to vote in those swing states.” https://t.co/5szyaN1tjA pic.twitter.com/0ynoDbbQIN
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) November 25, 2019
Sheekey pointed to a set of New York Times and Siena College polls released earlier this month that showed Trump beating leading Democratic candidates in some of the six states he mentioned.
The polls showed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) defeating Trump only in Arizona; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) doing so in three of the states and former Vice President Joe Biden doing so in four. All of the Democrats lost to Trump in North Carolina, which former President Obama carried narrowly in 2008.
Sheekey also pushed back on criticism over Bloomberg’s decision to skip the first four nominating states, which typically serve as an indicator of which candidate will be the chosen as the nominee.
“You can say it’s never been done before, but you also have to say no one’s ever tried it before,” he said, on skipping early primary states.
Sheekey called the strategy a focus on a “national political campaign.” He said Bloomberg will be speaking to “everyone in the country at once” with a focus on voters needed in swing states.