Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is considering a late entry into the 2020 Democrat Presidential primary race. On Monday evening, two of his closest associates broke the news to the New York Times.
According to those associates, Patrick believes the current Democratic presidential primary field has not been able to coalesce the progressive wing and the center-left/moderate wings of the Democratic party.
While Patrick does not have a large national profile, the prospects he could use to his advantage is his proximity to New Hampshire, home of the first-in-the-nation primary. Also, because he’s one of the first African-American governors, Patrick would enter the South Carolina primary with a distinct advantage in name recognition with a largely Black electorate. Furthermore, Patrick is an ally of former U.S. President Barack Obama.
Last year, Patrick had built a small but formidable team of advisers in Boston as he planned a 2020 bid and had the backing of some top aides from President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. But he publicly ruled out a presidential bid in December 2017, citing the “cruelty of our elections process.”
One of Patrick’s potential weaknesses could be fundraising. However, considering the inability of front-runners Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren to unite Democrats that have considerable war chests and the political clout to win the Democratic nomination and defeat President Donald J. Trump.
Speaking of war chests, former three-term New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has entered the race for similar reasons. Bloomberg has submitted his paperwork and qualified on Friday for the Alabama Democratic primary, and he and his team have begun building a road map as he weighs a bid. His $52 billion fortune would suggest he is further along than Patrick.
“I have always felt that his support was soft and it feels like his campaign is contracting rather than expanding,” Patrick said at the time.
A Quinnipiac poll released on Monday showed four candidates bunched together at the top in New Hampshire, with Biden at 20 percent among likely primary voters, Warren at 16 percent, Buttigieg at 15 percent and Sanders at 14 percent. (The margin of error was plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.)