Spoiler Alert: Will Howard Schultz Mean A Trump Re-Election?

Ken AshfordElection 2020Leave a Comment

Man, we really need to reform how elections are done. And stop having billionaires step in and think they can run America because they are billionaires.

I am, of course, referring to Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks.
Schultz initially contemplated entering the Democratic primary, correctly calculated that he stood no chance of success that way, and then incorrectly decided that he could win as an independent. “I will run as a centrist independent outside of the two-party system,” he has said. His public comments reveal how little he grasps about American politics.

He’s wrong about what it means to be an “independent” voter these days. While a huge amount of Americans identify as “independent”, that is not a political party, and the independents vary widely in their beliefs. Most of them are just disaffected, but they are really disaffected partisans — either disaffected conservatives or disaffected progressives. They are not in the center, as Schultz seems to think.

Conventional wisdom suggests that Schultz will act as a spoiler and draw from Democrats, thus assuring a Trump re-election victory. If that’s true, Schultz is Trump’s best friend right now, and this tweet is self-harming:

It is quite possible that Schultz could go the way of Ralph Nadar or Jill Stein, and pull juuuust enough votes away from the Democratic nominee to allow Trump to step in. On the other hand, he might pull so disaffected Trump voters towards him — especially those who think that accumulation of wealth means competence.

But I suspect that Schultz will become a blip on the screen, and bow out once the debates and other matters start in earnest. He may not even get on the ballot in every state.


Mike Bloomberg Statement on Independent Runs
JAN. 28, 2019

Last fall I spent over $100 million of my own money to elect Democrats to the House because I believed it was absolutely imperative to ensure a congressional counterweight to President Trump.

Thankfully, we were successful. But that was just the first step — the next and most important step is to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.

Now I have never been a partisan guy — and it’s no secret that I looked at an independent bid in the past. In fact I faced exactly the same decision now facing others who are considering it.

The data was very clear and very consistent. Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win. That is truer today than ever before.

In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President. That’s a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can’t afford to run it now.

We must remain united, and we must not allow any candidate to divide or fracture us. The stakes couldn’t be higher.