CNBC Question: If you were running and it appeared in the polls that you candidacy would help to elect Donald Trump, would you drop out beforehand?”
Howard Schultz: “I can’t answer that question today. but I’m certainly not going to do anything to put Donald Trump back into the Oval office.”
That sounds to me as if Schultz is planning to campaign as a practical centrist (against Medicare for all and AOC’s idea for a 70% income tax on the super-wealthy) and then probably drop out sometime between the spring and summer of ’20. Because if he does run in the general campaign as an egotistical indie, Trump will definitely be re-elected by way of a split liberal-moderate vote. In this regard Schultz would in fact be “a gift from God” for Trump, as Jeffrey Toobin has remarked.