Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg said the only way he could secure the Democratic presidential nomination would be through a contested convention.
“I don’t think that I can win any other ways,” Bloomberg told reporters in his Miami field office on Tuesday. “You don’t have to win states, you have to win delegates.”
“But contested convention is a democratic process,” he added. “There are rules in the Democratic Party of how you go about this. And I did see Bernie Sanders said all of a sudden he didn’t want to follow the rules. I find it offensive that Bernie Sanders, who the last time he ran was in favor of that kind of a convention, and now was opposed to it. I guess where you stand depends on where you sit.”
According to the Democratic National Committee rules, candidates need 1,991 out of the 3,979 pledged delegates to win the Democratic nomination on the first ballot. More than 1,300 delegates are up for grabs — over 30% of all the pledged delegates available on Super Tuesday, making this big voting day one of the most important days of the primary season.
It is the first time the billionaire is competing for votes in the primary, where 14 states and one territory are holding nominating contests. Out of those voting on Tuesday, Bloomberg is ahead in the polls only in Arkansas and above the 15% threshold to earn delegates in Oklahoma, North Carolina and Virginia.
Bloomberg bypassed the first four early-voting states and has focused his efforts on Super Tuesday states. He has poured more than $250 million into Super Tuesday states. In California alone, Bloomberg spent over $77 million on ads. And in Texas, he dropped about $57 million in Texas, $17 million in North Carolina and $18 million in Virginia.
The former New York mayor also said he has “no intention” of dropping out, emphasizing that he doesn’t need to win any of the Super Tuesday states and only needs some of the delegates from in those primaries.
“I have no intention of dropping out,” he said. “We’re in it to win it. I don’t understand why you would not ask other candidates that.”
Bloomberg has faced increased calls to join the likes of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, who ended their candidacies on Monday and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden. The consolidation of moderate Democrats behind Biden, who cemented his status as the moderate alternative to front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) began after his landslide victory Saturday in South Carolina’s primary over
When asked about taking away support from Biden, Bloomberg became testy and declared: “Joe’s taking votes away from me. Have you asked Joe when he’s going to drop out? When you asked him that then you can call me.”
Bloomberg is spending Super Tuesday campaigning in Florida, which holds its primary on March 17.