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.