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.