Howard Schultz, Starbucks' former CEO, speaking  at a town hall with Arizona State University President Michael Crow

Nick Oza/The Republic

During Bay Area Visit, Howard Schultz Predicts Trump Would Beat Leftist Democrat

Megan Goldsby
February 20, 2019 - 8:26 am

SAN FRANCISCO — Howard Schultz, the billionaire former chief executive of Starbucks and possible presidential candidate, said that President Trump is more likely to survive the 2020 campaign if Democrats nominate a candidate from their party's most liberal wing. 

"If Donald Trump runs against a far-left leaning Democrat, the chances of him getting re-elected, in my view, are pretty high," said Schultz to an audience at the Commonwealth Club on Tuesday night. Schultz has modeled himself as a political centrist or moderate in a flurry of recent public-speaking appearances and news interviews.

"I don't want to see that happen," said Schultz about the prospect of Trump entering a second term. "I want to see him fired."

Although he hasn't officially entered the race, Schultz has said that he's considering running as an independent — a move that his critics say would provide more help to Trump's chances than if the president were to square off against a progressive Democrat. 

Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders are among the gorwing list of entrants into the Democratic field. 

Schultz cited numbers saying that 30 percent of voters are registered as independents and another 12 percent saying that they would support an unaffiliated presidential candidate.  Those numbers suggest an independent could succeed, Schultz said. 

"Before we rush to judgment about what it is that I'm considering doing, I'm considering doing it because we are in a moment in time where we must recognize that the system is not working for us as Americans," said Schultz. 

Schultz's message may not play as well in the liberal hotbed of the Bay Area as it does in other parts of the country, according to KCBS Radio political insider Phil Matier. 

"Howard Schultz is presenting himself as the man in the middle. Someone that can take states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — states that are critical in winning the election."