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 HarrisCastro swears off donations from oil, gas, coal executives Harris leads California Democrats in condemning HUD immigrant housing policy Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution 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 WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Overnight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan 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 TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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 GoreAnother VPOTUS tries for POTUS: What does history tell us? Several factors have hindered 'next up' presidential candidates in recent years Montana Gov. Bullock enters presidential race 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.