The plan to tear down Bloomberg so viciously during his national debut in a non-controlled environment (like his ads) was a late calculation for most campaigns. But those same once-discouraged campaign pros working for Bloomberg’s non-Sanders rivals now see it as a glowing success. In its aftermath, they perceive a new sliver of opportunity in the race. And in the days since, multiple campaigns have reoriented components of their messaging and voter targeting programs to take advantage of Bloomberg’s public stumble, which they universally view as a clear sign that he won’t be consolidating the anti-Sanders vote anytime soon, after all.
Buttigieg’s campaign, for one, shot a memo of its own back in Bloomberg’s direction on Thursday, calling on the New Yorker to get out of the former South Bend mayor’s way, since he was the one leading the anti-Sanders charge. And while Elizabeth Warren’s team doesn’t see her winning over Bloomberg’s precise slice of the electorate in the short-run, it’s now zeroing in on especially pointed criticism of the billionaire to get her back into the national conversation and at the front of mind for voters wary of his money’s influence — and not just the Sanders-leaning progressives she’d been pursuing. “I believe he should drop out now,” former Housing secretary Julián Castro, a top Warren supporter, told me. “He should drop out and instead invest those resources on helping to take back the Senate and supporting the nominee, who I believe will be Elizabeth Warren, instead of on a vanity campaign that I believe is not going to win.”