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Democrats fear Donald Trump re-election if ex-Starbucks CEO Schultz runs !

1 month ago
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The pushback in the early days of the 2020 campaign reflects the intensity Democrats are bringing to the race. The party is singularly focused on retaking the White House and anxious about any hurdle that would prevent them from seizing on Trump’s unpopularity.

Some of the most influential forces in Democratic politics revolted Monday against former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s prospective presidential bid, insisting that an independent run would unintentionally help President Donald Trump win another four years in office.

The critics included the Democratic chairman of Schultz’s home state, another billionaire businessman who long flirted with an independent run of his own, former President Barack Obama’s chief strategist, and the most powerful super PAC in Democratic politics.

“If Schultz entered the race as an independent, we would consider him a target… We would do everything we can to ensure that his candidacy is unsuccessful,” said Patrick McHugh, executive director of Priorities USA, which spent nearly $200 million in the 2016 presidential contest.

Specifically, he seized on Schultz’s apparent willingness to cut entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security to narrow the federal deficit.

“The bottom line,” McHugh said, “is that I don’t think Americans are looking for another selfish billionaire to enter the race.”

The pushback in the early days of the 2020 campaign reflects the intensity Democrats are bringing to the race. The party is singularly focused on retaking the White House and anxious about any hurdle that would prevent them from seizing on Trump’s unpopularity.

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While no independent has won the presidency since George Washington, Democrats fear that Schultz would almost certainly split their vote and give Trump an easier path to re-election. Yet Democrats concede that they had few tools to dissuade Schultz from launching an independent campaign _ as he told CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday he was considering _ though many were skeptical that he would actually follow through.

Shultz plans to spend the next month traveling around the country _ in part promoting a new book _ to test whether there’s interest in an independent presidential candidate, according to a person familiar with his planning. However, the former Starbucks CEO may not make a final decision on running until the fall, when the direction of the Democratic primary may be somewhat clearer.

Schultz’s team has polled on the viability of a third party run and believes there is an opening, though they have not shared the specifics of their internal surveys. His advisers dispute the notion that an independent candidate would automatically bolster Trump’s prospects in 2020, arguing that there are enough Democrats and Republicans disgruntled with their parties to propel a third-party bid.

“At this time in America when there’s so much evidence that our political system is broken _ that both parties at the extreme are not representing the silent majority of the American people _ isn’t there a better way?” Schultz said, noting that he’d be traveling the country in the coming weeks and months meeting with voters.

“And what better expression of our democracy than to give the American people a choice that they deserve.”

“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,” Bloomberg, who is considering a Democratic 2020 bid, said in a statement.

He continued: “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.”

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