Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, pauses while speaking during a ‘Green New Deal’ rally in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Monday, May 13, 2019.
Jeenah Moon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, will officially enter the 2020 race for president Thursday morning, NBC News reported Wednesday, citing a spokesperson for De Blasio.
After making his formal announcement, he will then travel to Iowa and South Carolina for multiple stops over the course of four days, during which his wife will be joining him, NBC News reported.
De Blasio, 58, has faced more resistance to his presidential aspirations – including from his own constituents – than nearly any other Democrat in the race.
Recent polls from Quinnipiac University show the mayor’s approval rating underwater in New York City, and 76% of New Yorkers told the pollster in April that de Blasio should not run for president. De Blasio’s staunchly progressive rhetoric has turned off New York Republicans: 70% of them disapproved of their mayor, according to Quinnipiac’s April poll.
According to NBC News, he is not particularly popular in early surveys of Iowa and New Hampshire either.
Nevertheless, de Blasio took a number of steps signaling his intention to run for the White House. The New York Times reported that de Blasio traveled to battleground states, held pricey donor events and spoke at high-profile political conferences.
His entry makes him only the latest in a sea of nearly two dozen Democrats vying to take on President Donald Trump. Former Vice President Joe Biden took an early and commanding lead in opinion polls when he announced in late April, while Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have remained competitive at the top of the pack.
As mayor of a metropolis that reliably votes Democratic in presidential elections, de Blasio has taken a hard-line stance against Trump on multiple fronts. On Monday, de Blasio staged a campaign rally-style news conference inside Manhattan’s Trump Tower, which was intended to criticize the Trump administration’s handling of environmental issues and advocate for an “NYC Green New Deal.” The event was marred by loud music blasted from lobby speakers and hecklers holding up signs that read “Worst Mayor Ever.”
De Blasio’s announcement came shortly before the first of the Democratic primary debates in June and July. The Democratic National Committee says that a maximum of 20 candidates will be able to qualify for those debates, based on polls and donor numbers. With so many candidates already tentatively cleared to participate, de Blasio may face an uphill battle trying to secure a spot on the stage.
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