What’s the matter with Bill de Blasio? The mayor of Gotham is set to announce he is running for president on Thursday morning, but no one seems excited—not the voters in national polls, not the chattering classes, not the diner denizens of Iowa and New Hampshire, and not even his home city. In an April poll, three out of four New Yorkers said the mayor should not run.
There’s nothing wrong with the idea on paper: De Blasio is fairly popular, with 17-point favorable ratings among New York City Democrats. He has especially good numbers with black voters—a characteristic he shares with current Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden.
De Blasio has about as many constituents, as a mayor, as presidential candidates like New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. He’s got a few marquee achievements to his name, including police reform, free legal representation in housing court, and a blue wave in state politics, for which he deserves some credit. As his supporters sometimes point out, there are almost as many children each year in de Blasio’s signature pre-K program as people who live in South Bend, Indiana.