Michael Bloomberg Voter Support Grows, Surpassing Pete Buttigieg, New Poll Finds

Support for Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has surged ahead of that of fellow candidate and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, according to poll results released Tuesday from Morning Consult.

Bloomberg, a billionaire entrepreneur and former mayor of New York, launched his presidential campaign on November 24, 2019. This was more than eight months after Buttigieg announced his candidacy in April.

However, as the results from Morning Consult indicated, Bloomberg's support among surveyed Americans appears to have surpassed Buttigieg in most voter demographics.

For instance, Bloomberg was the first choice of 12 percent of survey respondents who indicated they will probably vote in their state's Democratic primary. Buttigieg, on the other hand, was the first choice of 7 percent of these respondents. This lead was outside of the margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Bloomberg came in fourth among the first choice of voters living in the 15 Super Tuesday states, all of which hold their primary elections on March 3. Of these respondents, 13 percent said they would pick Bloomberg first, compared with 6 percent who said they would vote for Buttigieg. This part of the poll's margin of error was only plus or minus one percentage point.

Mike Bloomberg Campaigns In Miami, Florida
Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg speaks during a campaign stop on January 26 in Miami. Bloomberg's rise in support among nonwhite voters comes despite memories of the "stop-and-frisk" policy he implemented while mayor of New York. Joe Raedle/Getty

Part of Bloomberg's lead over Buttigieg may be attributable to the latter's relatively low support among nonwhite voters. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Buttigieg has had trouble with appealing "beyond his overwhelmingly white base of voters" and with attracting diverse campaign staff.

Bloomberg, on the other hand, has demonstrably garnered more support from voters of color as time has gone on, according to Morning Consult.

"Over the past month, [Bloomberg] has doubled his first-choice support among Democratic primary voters," an analysis of the results from Morning Consult read. "[A]nd though he initially struggled with black voters, he has more than doubled the share of these voters who say he is their first choice (4 [percent] to 10 [percent])."

This rise in support came despite memories of the "stop-and-frisk" policy he implemented while mayor of New York, which some have said contributed to racial profiling of African-Americans by the police. Bloomberg has since apologized for the policy.

In the latest poll, Bloomberg was also the first choice for 12 percent of Hispanic voters and Asian-American voters, and 10 percent of "voters of other races."

However, Bloomberg did not register the most support of any Democratic contender. Among Democratic primary voters, for example, he was still behind the three candidates leading in most national polls: former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

It is also worth noting that Buttigieg still had a significant lead over Bloomberg among "early state primary voters"—those voters in the states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Among these voters, Buttigieg came in fifth with 10 percent support, while Bloomberg was seventh at just 2 percent support. Buttigieg's lead was outside of this section of the poll's margin of error, which was also plus or minus four percentage points.

Further, the poll indicated that Generation Z voters, or those between the ages of 18 and 22, equally preferred Bloomberg and Buttigieg. Both candidates polled at 4 percent support in the latest Morning Consult results.

Newsweek contacted both the Buttigieg and Bloomberg campaigns for comment, but it did not receive comment before publication. However, a spokesperson for the Bloomberg campaign told Newsweek in an email that the request for comment was under review. This article will be updated to reflect any further response.

The latest poll results were based on nearly 42,000 surveys that Morning Consult had conducted online with registered voters between January 20 and January 26. Almost 18,000 of the surveys were conducted among Democratic primary voters.