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Bill de Blasio’s 2020 campaign met with anger, mockery over NYC trains



So far, 23 Democratic candidates are running for president in 2020.

But just one, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, had the distinction of having his announcement widely slammed both online and in real life.

De Blasio, who officially confirmed his announcement to NBC News on Wednesday night, was mercilessly mocked on every social media platform where people can leave comments. He was also protested by his own constituents outside the “Good Morning America” studio in New York where he made his first official media appearance as a candidate.

On Twitter, nearly every post about De Blasio’s announcement was severely “ratioed,” meaning people left more disapproving replies than liked or retweeted the tweet. And on Facebook, many media organizations’ posts reporting De Blasio’s candidacy were met with more “laugh” and “angry” reactions than likes.

Read more: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will be the 23rd Democrat to announce a 2020 presidential campaign

Many social media users posted photos of New York’s dilapidated public transit system — a sore subject that has caused intense feuding between De Blasio’s and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over who is responsible for fixing it— in protest of his running for president instead of focusing on improving the state of New York’s public transportation.

It wasn’t just on social media that De Blasio’s candidacy was met with mockery and anger.

His first formal appearance as a candidate on ABC’s “Good Morning America” was met with multiple large groups of protesters from the New York Benevolent Police Organization and other groups turning out with signs and loud chants of “liar!” and “can’t run the city!” so loud they were heard in the background of De Blasio’s interview, according to the New York Post.

De Blasio is, by far, the most unpopular 2020 candidate both among the residents of his own city and among the broader Democratic primary electorate.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted in April found that not only do 44% of New Yorkers disapprove of his job performance compared with 42% who approve, an overwhelming 76% of New Yorkers also believed de Blasio shouldn’t run for president.

Read more: Bill de Blasio is running for president in 2020 — and all signs point to his campaign being a disaster in the making

And a Monmouth University poll released in March found that of 12 declared and potential Democratic presidential candidates, De Blasio was the only potential contender to receive a net negative favorability rating.

Not all New Yorkers, however, disapprove of De Blasio’s presidential bid and his performance as mayor.

Doug Ladson, the founder and CEO of the New York-based legal services nonprofit the Urban Justice Center, told INSIDER in a Thursday email that while De Blasio’s approach to governing can rub people the wrong way, his progressive accomplishments shouldn’t be taken for granted.

“The local press may not always like him, but Mayor de Blasio has a lot to offer the national conversation about issues like poverty and inequality,” Ladson said. “While the administration has not always succeeded, there are big progressive wins to point to, including guaranteeing the right to counsel for low-income tenants in housing court.”

“Mayor de Blasio may not be perfect, but I’ve worked under five mayors and Bill de Blasio is the one who sincerely cares the most about poor people,” Ladson added. “We should take this candidacy seriously.”

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