Bloomberg could be a ‘heavyweight’ in presidential primary

There’s a definitive opening for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the Democratic presidential primary.

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden may now be the Democratic presidential nomination’s top contenders, but a British political scientist said Friday that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg could very quickly rise to the top if he formally declares his candidacy. Thomas Gift, a political science professor at University College London, told Newsweek that Bloomberg has the name recognition, wealth, and electability to gain fast traction in the crowded presidential race.

“I think Bloomberg can immediately become a heavyweight in the Democratic primaries,” Gift said, adding that “there’s plenty of space for Bloomberg to position himself as a moderate voice, especially with Joe Biden’s candidacy stuck in neutral.”

Gift noted that Bloomberg has a track record of not only serving as mayor, but also running a business and conducting philanthropy. He is also a political centrist, which Gift said could make him potentially more electable than more left-leaning candidates such as Warren.

Bloomberg has not officially declared that he is running, but he is said to be weighing a run and has contacted several prominent Democrats to discuss the idea. He has also reportedly sent staffers to Alabama to gather signatures in advance of the deadline this coming Friday for the state’s primary.

He explored a potential presidential run in the 2016 election but ultimately decided against it. He told supporters at the time that he would have run if progressive Bernie Sanders had secured the Democratic nomination—the New York City mayor would then have presented himself to voters as a more moderate choice than either Sanders or Republican candidate Donald Trump.