Switchin’ Bloomberg

When Mike Bloomberg switched his registration, I was annoyed that the press never reported that Bloomberg switched to the GOP to avoid a tough primary for NYC mayor. But then, I found this which, perhaps, made the argument more eloquently than I ever could:

Has Bloomberg wrapped up the rap vote?

Bloomberg effect

Pollster.com has the results of a 16-state survey of 2-way and 3-way matchups between Giulaini, Clinton, and Bloomberg. First, the data:

3-way 2-way Bloomberg Effect
State Giuliani Clinton Bloomberg Giuliani Clinton From G
From H
Alabama 46 39 11 53 41 -7 -2
California 40 45 10 44 49 -4 -4
Iowa 37 42 11 41 47 -4 -5
Kansas 47 36 8 53 41 -6 -5
Kentucky 42 41 10 47 44 -5 -3
Massachusetts 37 47 9 42 52 -5 -5
Minnesota 37 48 7 41 50 -4 -2
Missouri 39 44 10 47 46 -8 -2
New Mexico 41 45 8 44 50 -3 -5
New York 32 49 15 38 56 -6 -7
Ohio 41 47 8 46 49 -5 -2
Oregon 38 44 11 44 48 -6 -4
Texas 48 34 10 54 37 -6 -3
Virginia 45 40 9 48 44 -3 -4
Washington 41 42 11 47 44 -6 -2
Wisconsin 40 44 10 46 47 -6 -3

Several things to notice. First, the differences created by a Bloomberg candidacy are real. While there is plenty to be suspicious of, here are some thoughts:

  1. Even without Bloomberg, Giuliani loses nearly every swing state. Giuliani would win only Missouri and Washington. Note that WV, CO, NV, AZ, PA, MI, and FL are not included in this sample.
  2. Bloomberg seems to take his votes from both sides, but somewhat more from the GOP. However, in the swing states, the damage seems to be almost 2-1 against the GOP. However, these results are almost all within the margin of error.
  3. It is going to take more data to figure this out.

But this is not good for the GOP with or without Bloomberg

Bloomberg? Really?

So there has been a lot of speculation about Mike Bloomberg running for President as an independent or 3rd-party candidate. Ralph Hallow at the Washington Times wrote stories yesterday and today on the question. First, Bloomberg would have the financial resources:

 "He has set aside $1 billion to go for it," confided a long-time business adviser to the Republican mayor. "The thinking about where it will come from and do we have it is over, and the answer is yes, we can do it."

 "If Bloomberg runs, he could have more money on hand than either of the two major party nominees," said Mr. Toner, the former FEC chairman. "It would be the first time that happened in the modern era."

The questions are whether this is real and who it will impact. The real question, only time will tell. However, there are multiple arguments for who will hurt. Hallow argues that it will be a threat to Democrats in today’s article:

"If Bloomberg and his people can pull together a serious run, it will allow some blue states to become very competitive for the GOP, such as New York, New Jersey and New Hampshire, maybe Colorado, 0hio — and the Northeast in general," said New Hampshire-based Republican campaign strategist David Carney.

The short version of the argument seems to be that there are more conservatives than liberals and the GOP has a stronger GOTV operation. This would suggest that in enough places the GOP would have the plurality. This argument assumes that Bloomberg would pick up independents, but not cut into the GOP base. I am not sure that this is a plausible assumption.

The other question, is, of course, what would be Bloomberg’s objective? Would he want to be President? Would he want to change the debate? Would he want to throw the election to someone? If so, who?

In the end, a Bloomberg candidacy, if it happens at all, will probably depend on who the GOP and Dem candidates are. But that is quite a ways off. In the mean time, he will almost certainly continue to travel to important states.