Can Mike Bloomberg win over Virginia voters?

Published: Feb. 27, 2020 at 9:26 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- They like Mike. Virginia volunteers are campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg.

“I think he can beat Donald Trump,” said Bloomberg campaign volunteer Bruce Wiljanan.

These voters say they want a candidate who can win.

“The person who’s going to take on Donald Trump is going to be able to build a coalition that honors progressive ideas, but also appeal to voters in the middle of the road,” said another Bloomberg volunteer Marjorie Brennan.

Supporters are coming to the Arlington campaign headquarters to pick up swag and sign up to knock on doors -- cheering for their candidate -- while pushing back against Sen. Bernie Sanders as the frontrunner.

Bloomberg announced his run just three months ago, and he has already campaigned in Virginia six times. So, the state’s primary is a big test.

Professor Mark Rom from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy is tracking the candidates.

“Bloomberg has to win on Super Tuesday. One of the best places that he can win on Super Tuesday is in Virginia. It’s affluent. It’s well educated. He believes that he can reach those affluent, educated voters and get them to pull the trigger for him,” Rom said.

Rom says Bloomberg does face some challenges, however.

“He faces the same challenges in Virginia as he does elsewhere. Can he attract substantial margins of Africa Americans to vote for him? He hasn’t demonstrated the ability do that, and if he’s going to win the Democratic primary, he has to be able to attract African American voters,” Rom said.

Overall, Rom questions whether Bloomberg has what it takes to win the nomination.

But for now, his supporters are all in and hoping for a victory on super Tuesday.

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