Billionaire presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg said his only path to the Democratic nomination is through a brokered convention, and he acknowledged that he may not win any states in the consequential elections on Super Tuesday.
“I don’t know whether you’re gonna win any,” Bloomberg told reporters at a field office in Miami in response to a question about which of the 14 states voting on March 3 he expected to win.
“You don’t have to win states, you have to win delegates,” the former New York City mayor added, predicting that no one candidate will get a majority of delegates.
“Then you go to a convention, and we’ll see what happens,” Bloomberg said.
Asked if he wanted a contested convention, Bloomberg said, “I don’t think that I can win any other way.”
Bloomberg has poured more than $500 million into his campaign since joining the race in late November 2019. He appeared on the ballot for the first time in the presidential race on Super Tuesday.
Despite the massive investment, Bloomberg polled in third and fourth place in key Super Tuesday states, including California and Texas. Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) led the polling in six out of eight of the most populous states where voters headed to the polls on March 3.
Former Vice President Joe Biden emerged as the chief challenger to Sanders ahead of Super Tuesday after winning the South Carolina primary and securing the endorsements from Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), both of whom dropped out of the race after the contest in South Carolina. Another former competitor, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, publicly backed Biden, while a new wave of mayors, lawmakers, and donors also said they would support the former vice president.
Biden has argued in favor of a contested convention, which would occur if no Democratic candidate emerged from the primary elections with a majority of delegates. Sanders has opposed the idea, arguing that the candidate with the most delegates should receive the party’s nomination.
Sanders and his closest advisers pushed back against the shift of party establishment and donor class toward Biden. Campaigning in Minnesota, Sanders sought to beat back Biden’s momentum with a welcoming message to Klobuchar and Buttigieg supporters.
“To all of Amy and Pete’s millions of supporters, the door is open. Come on in,” Sanders said. “We all share the understanding that together we are going to beat Donald Trump.”
More than one-third of all of the delegates for the convention will be allocated based on the results from the March 3 primary elections. Polls suggested Sanders would secure the most delegates, and it remained to be seen how Biden and Bloomberg would fare.
Bloomberg skipped the first four states, banking on more than half a billion dollars in advertising and ground operations in an unorthodox and untested method of securing support from moderates who may have bailed on Biden before the former vice president revived his flagging campaign.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.