As reports circulate that former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is mulling a run for president in 2020, UMass Lowell politics experts available for interviews say that while there’s “space in the race” for him, they question whether his expected bid for the Democratic nomination is good for him or his party.
“Patrick’s probably not going to be the nominee but he’s not wrong that the frontrunners are weak and that the right candidate might be able to capture Joe Biden voters while outflanking Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg,” said UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion
Director Joshua Dyck about key contenders already in the race. “The question is whether Patrick will be successful this late in the game and on that point, I’m not so sure. Good idea? I’m not there.”
UMass Lowell’s John Cluverius, the center’s associate director, is similarly blunt: “Adding Democratic candidates, especially to counter the rising force of further-left candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, is a terrible strategy. More candidates just dilutes the power of the more moderate candidates already in the race and ignores completely that Joe Biden is leading in the polls or at least hanging tough everywhere and among every (Democratic) demographic group.”
Both experts agree Patrick’s timing if off.
“I definitely think his candidacy would be interesting – and certainly more interesting than having another billionaire (like potential candidate Michael Bloomberg) swoop in as if they were the savior of the Democratic party – but it would have been a better idea for Patrick to get in six months ago,” Dyck said.
Along with serving in UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, Dyck and Cluverius are faculty members in the university’s Political Science Department, where their research focuses on polling issues and state and national politics.