DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is making a big play in Texas.
But some Democratic activists in North Texas told CBS 11 they’re not excited about his candidacy.
The former three-term mayor of New York City launched his campaign this week and is initially spending $35 million nationally in TV ads.
That includes $3 million in Texas and hundreds of thousands of dollars in the DFW area.
Democratic activist Jody Bland said he’s not supporting Bloomberg.
“Not very excited and frankly, I don’t know that many within the party who are that excited,” said Bland.
Bland is supporting Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“Many of us see Bloomberg’s entry as a really misguided, plutocratic reaction to the themes and ever-growing popularity of candidates like Senator Warren,” she said.
Bland said many Democrats he’s spoken with believe Bloomberg, a billionaire many times over, should instead support one of the candidates already in the race.
“It does motivate a certain set of the base that view the Democratic party as one that should be taking on concentrated private wealth and concentrations of power in this country rather than handing the party over to it.”
Collin County Democratic Party Chair Mike Rawlins said he is officially neutral but has also heard people aren’t excited about Bloomberg.
“One of the sentiments out there is we need another billionaire in the race about as much as we need a hole in the head,” Rawlins said.
SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson said Bloomberg is skipping the four early states because it’s too late to set up an effective ground-game there and heading right to the Super Tuesday states such as Texas, where he sees an opening.
“Even though it’s late, he can still get in and present himself as a solid, if unexciting, very confident businessman and former mayor of New York City and ask people to just take a look,” he said.
Jillson said Bloomberg’s odds are long, but not zero. “You’ve got to also hope that other people stumble. You can’t go out from this point and just simply win it.”
Democratic activist Billye Johnson said she is now taking a look at Bloomberg’s record after rejecting him at first.
“The more I think about it the more interested I get. I’m not sure I’m excited yet.”
Johnson pointed to the former mayor’s efforts to improve the environment.
She said Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are her first two choices.
But while she likes former Vice President Joe Biden, she said he’s not on her list.
“I’m not sure he can win against Trump and that frightens me because I don’t think your nation can handle four more years of Donald Trump,” said Johnson.
A recent UT-Tyler poll showed the President ahead of each of the Democratic presidential candidates in Texas.
No poll in Texas has surveyed Bloomberg’s popularity.
But a new national poll by Quinnipiac released Tuesday places Bloomberg at 3%, far behind the former vice president who’s in first place with 24%.