Bloomberg Candidacy Would Help Democrats

If Democrat turned Republican turned Independent Michael Bloomberg runs for president, he’ll take more votes away from his first former party than his second, a new survey finds.

If New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg runs for President as an independent candidate, it helps Democrats in Florida, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. In a two- way race, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani edges New York Sen. Hillary Clinton 46 – 44 percent. With Bloomberg in the mix, taking 9 percent, Clinton inches past Giuliani 41 – 39 percent, giving the Democrat her best shot so far at Florida’s crucial 27 electoral votes.

In a matchup of second place contenders, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama tops former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson 42 – 39 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. In a three-way race, Obama doubles his lead over Thompson to 38 – 32 percent, with 14 percent for Bloomberg.

“The conventional wisdom may be that Mayor Bloomberg’s generally liberal approach to many issues would mean he would take more votes from Democrats and help the Republicans in a three-way race. At this point, that just isn’t so,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

We’d need to see state-by-state polling to have a clearer picture but this result isn’t all that shocking. Yes, Bloomberg is relatively liberal. On the other hand, he is at least nominally a Republican. Presumably, there are a number of moderate and libertarian Republicans who would prefer Bloomberg over a more socially conservative candidate.

On the other hand, independent candidates do far, far better in surveys than on Election Day. Some substantial chunk of those who would prefer Bloomberg to Giuliani or Thompson would almost certainly nonetheless vote for the Republican nominee if the alternative were Clinton or Obama.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    As 2006 showed, people in the middle are unhappy with the GOP. As the presidential elections show, the majority (with the exception of Carter in 1976) don’t want a democrat. So any candidate who can make a credible claim to be in the middle can thread the needle and pick up the people who aren’t happy with the GOP, but don’t want a democrat. Bloomberg can make the claim to being in the middle, though from my view he is definitely to the left of the middle.

    If you think of all the possible third party candidates, it is hard to see any who would have a realistic chance of winning, but several who could hurt either party. Gore as an independent would likely gut the democrats. Same thing with Newt and the GOP. Not that either is likely to run in a manner to hurt his party.

    What makes it even harder for a third party candidate is even if they come up with some idea that catches the public imagination, either party is likely to co-opt the issue.

  2. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Bloomberg is not even a RINO. He converted so he could run for mayor. He is a liberal democrat, period. His stand on the 2nd Amendment will make it impossible for him to do well in the flyover zone. I hate to mention this, but National Security will trump all other issues in the next election. All of the Democrats have moved so far left, to win the Kos Kids approval they will find it difficult to win in the general election. When they talk among themselves in thier fake debates. When the winner of the title of most Stalinistic faces a opponent who points out the real truth to the electorate. First question I would ask Hillary is how much she plans to charge for a nights stay in the Lincoln Bedroom. Second would be have the rates for pardons gone up?