Among the candidates running for a bid to be the chosen Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential election, there are contenders who have a serious chance at getting to the top.
Then there’s Bill de Blasio.
In the announcement of his campaign, the New York City mayor made his overarching theme clear: standing up for all and protecting all. He credits being a New Yorker for making him tough and knowing how to take down the current president, a fellow New Yorker. He’s called for an aggressive tax plan and said during the first debate, “This has to be the party that’s not afraid to say out loud, we’re going to tax the hell out of the wealthy.” These are progressive Democrat talking points that are similar to some of the other candidates so it makes sense that de Blasio is going in this direction with his rhetoric.
In terms of the other big picture issues, he’s pretty much in line with what everybody else is saying. He wants to abolish the death penalty and capital punishment, raise the federal minimum wage to $15, he’s in favor of univeral background checks and wants citizenship for DREAMERS. His positions make sense in terms of attracting progressive voters and individuals unlikely to vote for the current president, but it’s unlikely he’ll attract voters from the Big Apple.
de Blasio has served as the mayor of the country’s most densely populated major city since 2014. He previously served as the public advocate from 2010 to 2013 and before that, as a city council member for the 39th district in Brooklyn. de Blasio has a long history in government work but don’t be fooled by a long resume. It needs substance as well.
His campaign website lists off a long list of de Blasio’s accomplishments as mayor of New York City that includes halting the stop and frisk program of the New York Police Department, establishing Pre-K for All and raising the minimum wage for city employees and contractors.
This can look appealing to someone who doesn’t live in the five boroughs of New York City.
Most New Yorkers, myself included, can speak to the notion that de Blasio’s administration hasn’t left an impression of progress and change. He won re-election as mayor simply because there wasn’t anyone else better who could take him on. He won by default.
During his campaign to become mayor in 2014, he ran on the narrative that New York City was a tale of two cities; one city was wealthy and the other was poor. It’s a powerful image to draw when you are trying to secure the vote and it enchanted a lot of the city. He won in a landslide.
This same narrative can be said for the United States as a whole. Income inequality is an important issue and disparities among racial and class lines is an issue that needs to be addressed in the coming years to ensure that people in this country feel secure, safe, protected and acknowledged by their federal government.
There is a problem with this. deBlasio hasn’t delivered on his tale of two cities platform. Many New Yorkers feel let down and disappointed. To now see that same man running for the most powerful seat in the country? Laughable and pathetic.
On Tuesday, the Siena College Research Institute revealed a poll for the state of New York with a look at New York City as well that mapped out support for candidates based on different socioeconomic and racial groups. It found that of the 389 Democrats surveyed, only one individual said de Blasio was their preferred candidate. Sad.
de Blasio has a problem on his hands if he can’t secure even a small amount of support from his home base. It almost appears as if he has no home base.
It can be fair to assume this campaign will call it quits in the next month. No one can bounce back from the lowest of the low poll numbers, and it would not be smart to try to.