Unfortunately, even though the 2020 election is still 17 months in the future, the presidential campaign is already underway. So far, 24 candidates have stepped forward to seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency; this is a record-breaking total. At this writing, former Vice President Joe Biden holds a sizeable lead in national polls. He is followed by Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Kamala Harris of California.
Earlier this year, it appeared that up to four New Yorkers might seek to challenge President Donald Trump next fall. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has long been rumored to hold presidential ambitions, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg—a former Republican—made noises about seeking the Democratic nomination as well. Bloomberg has opted not to seek the White House and Gov. Cuomo has thrown his support behind Biden; however, two other New Yorkers—Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio—have thrown their hats into the ring.
Sen. Gillibrand’s political career began in 2006 when she unseated troubled Republican Rep. John Sweeney in an upstate congressional race. In 2009, after Hillary Clinton stepped down from the U.S. Senate to become Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, Gillibrand was appointed by Gov. David Paterson to fill Clinton’s vacated seat. She has served in the Senate ever since. Sen. Gillibrand’s political career is most notable for her flip-flops; since beginning her career as a moderate congressmember from the Capital Region, the Senator has morphed into a hard-core New York City-style leftist. Sen. Gillibrand even changed her mind about running for President. In her re-election campaign last year, the Senator promised to serve her full six-year term, but she announced her presidential campaign in January 2019.
Mayor de Blasio served on the New York City Council from 2002 to 2009 before becoming New York City Public Advocate in 2010. He was elected Mayor of New York City in 2013, defeating highly unpopular heir apparent Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary. Unlike Sen. Gillibrand, Mayor de Blasio is nothing if not ideologically consistent. In his younger years, the Mayor supported the far-left Sandinista government in Nicaragua and honeymooned in Communist Cuba with his wife, First Lady Chirlane McCray, in violation of a U.S. travel ban.
Aside from their far-left views, there is one thing Sen. Gillibrand and Mayor de Blasio have in common: Their campaigns are going nowhere fast. After having campaigned for four months, Sen. Gillibrand has received an average of 0.4% support in national polls. After Mayor de Blasio announced his presidential candidacy last month, Politico opined that he had “botched” his campaign rollout, a recent appearance in Iowa drew 30 attendees, and a poll showed that 76% of New York City voters did not want him to run for President. At this writing, Mayor de Blasio trails Sen. Gillibrand, garnering only 0.3% support in national polls.
It looks as though President Trump will be the only New Yorker on the presidential ballot next fall.