Democrats chasing their party’s presidential nomination are likely to face fresh competition less than three months away from the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses as anxiety mounts over who is best fit to take on President Donald Trump next fall.
The New York Times reported Monday that former two-term Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is seriously considering a presidential run, making the case to prominent Democrats that none of the current candidates in the race have the momentum required to carry the White House next fall. Patrick is also arguing, according to the Times, that there is an opening for a candidate who is able to unite moderate and liberal voters in a primary dominated by progressive candidates pushing the party left.
Patrick, 63, served as governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015 and is now a CBS contributor. If Patrick were to launch a last-minute campaign, he would join a crowded field of 17 other major candidates vying for the party’s top ticket led by former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, none of whom are particularly moderate. While Biden has claimed the moderate lane, his positions on healthcare and climate change would deem the former vice president and senator from Delaware the most radical candidate in any other primary.
Another potential candidate preparing an 11th hour jump in the race is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who would be the second billionaire to enter the primary after Tom Steyer.
Bloomberg has already filed paperwork and qualified for the Alabama Democratic primary and is mapping out a campaign strategy with advisers, according to the New York Times. Since leaving the New York mayor’s office in 2013, Bloomberg has remained active in pursuing aggressive gun law supporting candidates, majority Democrats, who support stricter gun control.
Patrick and Bloomberg’s entry in the race highlights the growing concerns among Democrats struggling to settle on a candidate following several rounds of debates. Nine major candidates have already dropped out, and the three current candidates leading the field are all aged 70 and older. Bloomberg is 77-years-old.
Bloomberg flirted with an independent presidential run in 2008 and 2016. He previously ruled out a 2020 presidential bid in March. Steyer had also previously ruled out a bid before announcing his candidacy in July.
Patrick and Bloomberg will both have missed the deadline to qualify for the November Democratic debate slated to be held on Nov. 20 but will have nearly a month to meet the donor and polling thresholds to be on the debate stage in December.