Mavericks owner and noted Dallas pitchman Mark Cuban leads President Donald Trump 42-38 among registered voters in a new poll measuring support for each man in a hypothetical 2020 presidential campaign. It’s a bit of a silly question, something the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling firm is known for including along with its more straightforward polling, but we live in silly times.
Cuban, loudmouthed billionaire reality TV star, has emerged as a sort of doppelgänger critic of the president, and the Shark Tank host’s wink-wink treatment of the speculation that he has his eyes on the White House has kept Dallas’ paper of record full of will he–won’t he stories. Stories that are often obligated to mention the Dallas Mavericks, Shark Tank, Cuban’s role as the president in the SyFy original television film Sharkado 3 (a part originally intended for Trump), and Cuban’s other business ventures.
In an email today to the Dallas Morning News, which asked for comment on this new poll, Cuban deployed a cheeky “:)” emoji and said he would “only run if I had solutions to problems like healthcare, jobs and income inequality.”
Cuban, who identifies as an independent (the Public Policy Polling firm had him as a Democrat for the purposes of its hypothetical), has actually spoken about what he sees as solutions to some of these issues before. But Cuban’s potshots at the president and his flirtation with a 2020 run aren’t really about the issues as much as they are about the Mark Cuban brand. And the brand of a savvy media manipulator like Cuban is strong.
So does Cuban really want to move to Washington D.C. for a difficult and thankless job, depriving him of the opportunity to yell at referees from the sidelines of Mavericks games and to connect with Dallas millennials? Is he really about that campaign life? Hard to say. But he sure seems to want us talking about it.
As for what a Cuban presidency might look like, well, here’s a clip that could shed some light on his governing style: