In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well under way.
A January Gallup poll asked respondents if they would be willing to cast a presidential vote for members of various groups. Only one group got opposition from a majority. In the survey, 53 percent said that they would not vote for a socialist.
The Democratic presidential primary is entering an intensely tumultuous phase, after two early contests that have left former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. reeling and elevated Senator Bernie Sanders but failed to make any candidate a dominant force in the battle for the party’s nomination.
Within the Democratic establishment, the results have deepened a mood of anxiety and frustration: The collapse of Mr. Biden’s support in the first two states, and the fragmentation of moderate voters among several other candidates, allowed Mr. Sanders, a Vermont progressive, to claim a victory in New Hampshire and a split decision in Iowa with former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.
In both states, a majority of voters supported candidates closer to the political center and named defeating President Trump as their top priority, but there was no overwhelming favorite among those voters as to which moderate was the best alternative to Mr. Sanders. Unless such a favorite soon emerges, party leaders may increasingly look to Michael R. Bloomberg as a potential savior.
In an unmistakable sign of Mr. Bloomberg’s growing strength and Mr. Biden’s decline, three black members of Congress endorsed the former mayor of New York City on Wednesday, including Representative Lucy McBath of Georgia, a high-profile lawmaker and gun-control champion in her first term — and a senior adviser to Mr. Bloomberg told campaign staff that internal polling showed the former mayor now tied with Mr. Biden among African-Americans in March primary states.
In early January, Representative Gregory Meeks of New York offered an off-the-cuff assessment of the Democratic race: Should Mr. Biden wheeze in the early states, many in the party would turn to Mr. Bloomberg as a Plan B.
“If Mr. Biden can’t get out of New Hampshire and Iowa, then Bloomberg has Super Tuesday,” Mr. Meeks said at the time.
On Wednesday, he was one of the three black lawmakers who endorsed Mr. Bloomberg.