NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A woman who’s very familiar to CBS viewers has handed down a verdict in the Democratic presidential contest: Judith Sheindlin – “Judge Judy” to you – is backing former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Sheindlin is not noted for doing anything halfway, so when she decided to make her first political endorsement ever, she went all-in, reports CBS2’s political reporter Marcia Kramer.
“I like to say you can judge someone’s character by what they’ve done. Mike Bloomberg has done amazing things and will be a truly great president,” Sheindlin said in a new campaign ad. “No one comes close to Mike Bloomberg’s executive achievement, government experience, and impactful philanthropy.”
The 30-second ad, titled “Judge Him,” features Sheindlin, a New York native who became a television icon thanks to her long-running daytime court show.
She’s also praised Bloomberg on multiple TV shows.
“I’m 100% positive that Mike Bloomberg is the only person that should be a standard-bearer for the Democratic party in 2020,” she said on CNN this week.
On “The View,” she said “Mike Bloomberg is the only one of the candidates who has experience governing and managing.”
In addition to doing campaign commercials for Bloomberg, Sheindlin is expected to campaign for him this weekend in Texas, a Super Tuesday state, and will tell voters about Bloomberg’s long history of supporting climate change, gun safety and public health. She also wrote an op-ed last October praising Bloomberg’s business experience.
As a judge, she will be able to explain his initial support for “stop and frisk” – “He hates the idea that people were being killed by illegal guns,” said Sheindlin – and his change of heart on the controversial policy.
“I think that Mike’s talking to people since has persuaded him,” she said. “Being stopped by police when you’ve done nothing is a potentially life-altering event for a young person.”
“Judge Judy” has a viewership of nearly 10 million a day, many working class. The big question for political scientists is whether the endorsement will translate into votes the way Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Barack Obama in 2007 did, helping him beat Hillary Clinton.
“I don’t think it probably has the impact of an Oprah Winfrey, but does it have an impact? Yeah,” said Dr. Lee Miringoff of Marist College.
“Look, he’s running an unconventional race right now to get attention when he’s not going to be in the debates,” he said. “It gives a little buzz for the campaign and he does need that.”
“Judge Judy doesn’t have a political following and especially not a following that will necessarily vote in Democratic primaries, so it’s not clear she would be able to transfer any votes to Bloomberg,” said Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. “She does transfer attention and at this early stage that’s useful too.”
Mike Bloomberg expects to get more buzz during the Super Bowl as he’s buying a 1-minute spot that is likely to cost $10 million. The Trump campaign is expected to buy a 30-second ad.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden campaigned in Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers on Tuesday, and Elizabeth Warren takes to in Brooklyn tonight with Julian Castro who has just endorsed her.