David Brock: Howard Schultz’s vanity project will reelect Donald Trump

Across America, I can feel a movement beginning to form.

From factory workers in Kenosha, Wis., to young mothers in Fulton County, Ga., it’s what is on everyone’s mind: Please, God, give me another out-of-touch billionaire, higher health insurance premiums and more tax cuts for giant corporations.

Get a grip.

Howard Schultz’s presidential candidacy is nothing more than a vanity project repackaging the same stale ideas that almost nobody supports.


The only ones really interested in a Schultz presidency are the media and Howard Schultz himself. 

Schultz is so out-of-touch that one of his first ideas to shed his billionaire image was doing an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow in her publication, “Goop,” so they could banter about their favorite $900 t-shirts.

His first policy speech at Purdue University was hollow of any tangible goals, at one point had as few as 39 viewers on his livestream, and produced this profound statement: "The truth is that health care costs are the biggest driver of unaffordable care.”

Schultz has become so toxic that even his own former company, Starbucks, is beginning to distance itself from his presidential ambitions.

According to recent CNN polling, Schultz has a negative 9 percent favorability rating and, in a three-way race with most Democrats, he only gathers around 7 percent support.

Schultz has no imaginable avenue to winning the presidency, and the media, seemingly eager to puff up his every move, should recognize this reality.

But make no mistake: That 7 percent in polling poses the gravest threat to our country in recent memory.

In a three-way race between Trump, Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris, Booker call for judgement on Jussie Smollett case to be withheld until investigation is completed Harris calls idea of Trump trusting Putin over US intel ‘height of irresponsibility and shameful’ Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report MORE and Schultz, Howard Schultz pulls just enough Democratic votes to put Trump over the top with a 4 percent victory, according to Optimus polling.

In a three-way race with Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren set to announce plan for universal child care: reports Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign MORE, Schultz pulls just enough Democratic votes to hand Trump a 3 percent victory.

In a three-way race with Beto O’Rourke, Howard Schultz hands Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE a 9 percent victory. And the list goes on.

You don’t have to be a historian to understand that recent third-party candidates only help elect Republicans.

Ralph Nader got 100,000 votes in Florida in 2000, enabling Republican George W. Bush to beat Democrat Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreFor 2020, Democrats are lookin’ for somebody to love Key Colorado House committee passes bill to decide presidential elections by popular vote, not Electoral college David Brock: Howard Schultz’s vanity project will reelect Donald Trump MORE by only about 600 votes, handing Bush the presidency.

Jill Stein’s total votes exceeded Donald Trump’s margin of victory in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in 2016, and Trump won the electoral college.

If Howard Schultz runs, he will re-elect Donald Trump. 

That’s why American Bridge, the Democratic super PAC I chair and whose mission is to defeat Trump, is digging into his record.

I don’t need to list all the reasons why Trump is an existential threat to the fate of our democracy.

But by elevating Trump’s chances of winning his re-election, Howard Schultz has become an existential threat himself.

And if he doesn’t drop the act now, we should all be prepared to treat him as one.

NOTE: This post has been updated from the original to correct an editing error to specify CNN polling.

David Brock is the founder and chairman of American Bridge 21st Century, a super-PAC that supports Democratic candidates and the main opposition research group in the party. The author of several political books, he founded Media Matters for America in 2004. Follow him on Twitter @davidbrockdc.