Late-Entry Candidates Never Win

“Bloomberg’s surprise late entry into the 2020 race is a familiar story: The candidate who casts himself in the role of The Savior Who Is Waiting in the Wings is a quadrennial feature of presidential campaigns. For decades, Democrats and Republicans alike have persisted in looking beyond the field of those desperate few who have spent months, if not years, racking up frequent flier miles; eating indigestible food; begging for money; and crowding into coffee shops, union halls and living rooms trying to build a constituency. Right around this time of the cycle, these voters and pundits and party operatives reliably hit the panic button, certain that somewhere above the fray stands a candidate free of the now-obvious flaws that burden the rest of the field. … There’s one pesky fact about these late-entry candidacies: They never succeed. Only once have they even materially affected the outcome of a fight for the nomination.”

Jeff Greenfield

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