For the past two and a half weeks, Californians have seen lots of Mike Bloomberg, who has blanketed the airwaves with TV ads promoting his presidential campaign.
Now state voters will get their first glimpse of the billionaire former New York City mayor in the flesh, as he arrives in California on Wednesday for a climate talk with former Gov. Jerry Brown and a visit to Stockton to pick up the endorsement of an up-and-coming mayor.
Bloomberg is set to appear onstage with Brown this afternoon at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. While Brown isn’t expected to endorse Bloomberg, the two have worked closely on climate issues. They launched an initiative in 2017 to help ensure the U.S. meets its goals to reduce emissions in the wake of President Trump’s decision to yank the country out of the Paris climate accords.
The former four-term governor, who remains one of California’s most popular and respected Democratic leaders, would be a major get for any of the Democratic presidential contenders.
Ironically, Bloomberg campaigned against Brown in his 2010 race for the governor’s mansion, flying to San Jose to stump for Brown’s rival, Republican tech executive Meg Whitman.
Bloomberg started his latest California campaign trip in the unlikely city of Stockton, where he’s set to get the endorsement of Mayor Michael Tubbs. The 29-year-old mayor is seen as a rising star in California politics, and has pioneered innovative policies like a test of universal basic income.
Tubbs had previously supported California Sen. Kamala Harris, although he hadn’t officially endorsed her before she dropped out of the presidential race last week.
“Democracy and the rule of law are at stake in 2020,” Tubbs tweeted Tuesday night. “To defeat Donald Trump and to ensure he never happens again, our candidate has to have the record, relationships, and resources to win. @MikeBloomberg has all 3.”
The former New York mayor will hold a roundtable with Tubbs and other local leaders Wednesday morning focusing on housing affordability and economic opportunity before heading to San Francisco for his meet-up with Brown.
The nod from Tubbs will mark Bloomberg’s second endorsement from a prominent California mayor who previously backed Harris, after San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. Harris’ supporters — including Gov. Gavin Newsom — will be major targets for all of the White House hopefuls.
The former New York City mayor is taking an unorthodox move of skipping the early presidential primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire completely while dumping millions of dollars of his massive fortune on Super Tuesday states, including the Golden State. How well he does in California will determine whether he has a chance to overtake a field of candidates who’ve been in the running for far longer.
And plenty of other millionaires and billionaires who’ve tried to spend staggering sums to win statewide office in California have flamed out in the past.
A new CNN poll of California released Wednesday morning found Bloomberg at 5 percent among likely Democratic primary voters in the state — behind former Vice President Joe Biden at 21 percent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 20 percent, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 17 percent, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 9 percent and entrepreneur Andrew Yang at 6 percent.