Billionaire anti-gun crusader Michael Bloomberg has opened campaign offices in 40 states, deploying 2,100 campaign workers, including 53 in Washington State, according to the Seattle P-I.com.
One of the cities where a Bloomberg office has opened is Tacoma, but the wealthy candidate was a no-show at the Tacoma office, where Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards served as a stand-in. She was a supporter of the recently-adopted tax on firearm and ammunition sales in the “City of Destiny,” which drew heavy opposition from firearms owners and retailers in the city.
However, the office openings came as a new KING5 News survey found 45 percent support for stricter gun control laws in Washington State. However, slightly more people (46%) think the gun laws are too strict or “just about right.” Nine percent aren’t sure one way or the other.
Bloomberg is considered an enemy of gun owners, a notion that was reinforced by an $11 million Super Bowl commercial highlighting his positions on gun control. Second Amendment activists say he’s an extremist anti-gunner, having helped create and bankroll the Everytown for Gun Safety gun prohibition lobbying group.
The Bloomberg campaign might gain momentum because of the Iowa caucus debacle earlier in the week, which appears to have left Pete Buttigieg and Democrat-socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders in a dead heat as winners, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren came in third and former Vice President Joe Biden—seen by many as the party’s “moderate” alternative to the far left Sanders—in an embarrassing fourth place finish.
But the Iowa results came in too late to make a splash, as the candidates have all moved on to New Hampshire, with Bloomberg still staying out of the primary fray.
According to the P-I.com article, Warren and Sanders both have opened campaign offices in the Seattle area, which is seen as a center of Pacific Northwest liberalism, along with Portland, Oregon.
Bloomberg appears to be focusing on the March 3 “Super Tuesday” primaries in several states, to be followed one week later by the March 10 primaries in six states including Washington, Missouri and Michigan.
With Biden apparently wounded by the poor Iowa showing, Bloomberg may now emerge as the “moderate” candidate. At least some observers have suggested the Democratic National Committee is concerned, if not outright terrified, of a Sanders victory in the primaries that could position him to become the party’s 2020 nominee.
Opening of Evergreen State campaign offices was timed almost perfectly with release of the KING 5 News polling data. But already, grassroots activists are questioning that survey.
According to KING5, “SurveyUSA conducted the poll between Jan. 26 and Jan. 31, surveying 1,103 registered voters across Washington state. Of those voters, 41% were Democrats, 26% were Republicans, and 27% were Independents. Nearly half were from the Seattle metro area, a quarter were from eastern Washington, and a little more than a quarter were from western Washington, reflecting statewide population and demographics.”
A full breakdown of the survey may be found here.
But does this survey show what gun owners—the only group affected by more restrictions—think? People who do not own firearms, and may support gun bans, would be far more amenable to additional restrictions than someone who owns, and possibly even carries, firearms. There are currently more than 647,000 active concealed pistol licenses in the state.
Perhaps more importantly, according to rights activists, should a constitutionally-protected fundamental right be subject to an opinion poll?
The KING5 survey actually reveals something else. Nineteen percent of respondents think current gun laws are too strict, and 27 percent believe the gun laws are “about right.” That suggests slightly more people would be satisfied if no new gun controls were added.