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Michael Bloomberg blasts role of early states in Democratic nominating process in CNN op-ed

The former New York mayor, a late entrant into the presidential field, has chosen to ignore the early-voting contests, opting instead to focus his time and money on other states across the country, including those that Democrats are looking to win back from President Donald Trump in November. His op-ed, published on Monday, comes three weeks before the Iowa caucuses, the first contest of the nominating process, and nearly a month before the New Hampshire primary.

"The Democratic Party reflects America's incredible diversity. But the first two voting states, Iowa and New Hampshire, are among the most homogenous in the nation," Bloomberg wrote in the op-ed. "While it's great that candidates reach out to voters in these states at every pancake breakfast and town hall around, what about African-American, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islanders, and other voters in places like Detroit, Montgomery, Phoenix, and Houston?"

The outsized influence of early voting states has come under criticism before, and former 2020 Democratic hopeful Julián Castro was outspoken during his campaign that that the primary calendar should better reflect the diversity of the Democratic Party, a point Bloomberg made in his op-ed.

Bloomberg wrote that his party is "in danger of repeating 2016 in large part because, as Democrats focus on Iowa and New Hampshire," Trump is busy campaigning aggressively in battleground states.

"Tuesday, while Democrats are on stage in Des Moines," he wrote, referring to the Democratic debate this week, "(Trump will) be speaking to thousands of supporters in Wisconsin -- a state Democrats need to rebuild the Blue Wall."

Bloomberg, a billionaire who is self-funding his campaign, will not participate in Tuesday night's CNN debate because he did not meet the donor threshold to qualify.

Bloomberg noted that he values the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, but said that if elected, he'll make sure the party coordinates with state leaders "to re-order the primary calendar in ways that better reflect our diverse electorate and channel more resources into" battleground sates.

Bloomberg, whose wealth was amassed from a media empire, has cast himself as a problem solver on the campaign trail. Since announcing his run, he has focused on expensive ad buys and building a robust general election operation with top political strategists.
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