Reuters article on possible Bloomberg candidacy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have what it takes to run a strong third-party presidential bid, the subject of growing talk, but the odds of winning are practically nil, experts say.

While Bloomberg has the money, name recognition and experience, the experts said political conditions would have to be just right for him to get elected in November 2008.

Both Republican and Democratic voters would have to be hugely dissatisfied, and he would have to wage an extensive campaign to get on the ballot in each state, they note.

Since a stable two-party system has governed U.S. presidential elections for more than a century, American voters have never elected a third-party candidate to the nation’s top job.

“Look at American history. The odds are heavily against it succeeding,” said Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “The odds are we will have some third-party candidate or candidates in 2008, but success is elusive, even for people who can spend a billion dollars.”

Bloomberg, a multibillionaire, says he is not running for president, but he has failed to quell the speculation.

He has crisscrossed the country, visiting 20 cities in the last 18 months, according to the New York Post. He traveled on Monday in California, giving speeches in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

A longtime Democrat, he became a Republican to run in a less-crowded field when he made his first foray into politics and was elected mayor in 2001. He was re-elected in 2005 . . .

You can read the entire Reuters article here. I’m not sure why they would feature Bloomberg in an article about third parties since he’s a Republican. At best he would be an independent candidate, not a third party candidate. The article concludes:

A problem for any third-party candidate is getting on the ballot in all 50 states, a complex and time-consuming process, but Bloomberg’s money could make that easier. Bloomberg can wait until after the Republicans and Democrats choose their nominees before jumping in, Sheinkopf noted. “He’s got plenty of time,” he said.

I don’t recall Perot waiting that long. Regardless of how much money a candidate has, I find it hard to believe that a candidate can get on the ballot in every state if they wait to announce after the major party conventions.

21 Responses to “Reuters article on possible Bloomberg candidacy”

  1. Ted Says:

    Pardon my ignorance, but who exactly would vote for Bloomberg?

    “Moderate” Republicans? “Conservative” Democrats?
    Independents?

    I honestly don’t get the attraction.

  2. G.E. Smith aka globalist_elitist Says:

    “The odds are we will have some third-party candidate or candidates in 2008, but success is elusive, even for people who can spend a billion dollars.”

    What is this guy, an Austrian? We have no way of knowing what a billion dollars can do, because no one—not even a Republican or Democrat—has ever spent that much.

    Anyone have data on how much Perot spent vs. the majors? My guess is not as much. A hundred mill or so?

    Bloomberg is worth $5 billion. He could spend $4 billion and still be a billionaire.

    “Regardless of how much money a candidate has, I find it hard to believe that a candidate can get on the ballot in every state if they wait to announce after the major party conventions.”

    Oh yeah? What if the Bloomberg campaign pays $100 per valid signature. Even if a million signatures were required (which they’re not), that would be $100 million or 1/10 of one billion. He’d still have $900 million for the race—and that’s assuming he’d only spend $1 billion.

    Money can solve a lot of problems.

    I HAVE SOME SERIOUS PROBLEMS with Bloomberg, mostly on the issue of gun control. I also get the impression that he is more of an elitist than most pols, i.e. thinking he knows better than the crowd (because he’s made his billions doing exactly that). But I would certainly CONSIDER supporting him if he made a balls-to-the-wall run, and if the GOP/Dem/LP candidates truly sucked (Romney/Edwards/Root).

  3. G.E. Smith aka globalist_elitist Says:

    Ted - People who are fed up with the two-party system and the same-old, same-old. There are a lot of people who feel that way and like voting for mavericks, i.e. Perot, IF they think they can win.

  4. George Phillies Says:

    The Republican Convention is on Labor Day weekend. The deadline for submitting nominating papers in Massachusetts is in the summer. If you wait until after the Republican convention, it does not matter how many signatures you collect. You will not be on the ballot here. And in two months, your chances for successful litigation of a complex issue are somewhat limited, so that path is also almost closed.

  5. Ted Says:

    G.E. I grant you that, but these fed up folks span a huge spectrum of views on a variety of topics. Would there really be a coalition of social conservatives, fiscal liberals, fiscal conservatives, social liberals, open borders, closed borders, tax and spend advocates, cut taxes and cut spending advocates etc that could/would unite behind him?

    Perot at least had an attractive craziness about him, Bloomberg strikes me as being as charismatic as a piece of toast.

  6. G.E. Smith Says:

    A lot of the people who voted for Perot wouldn’t vote for Bloomberg… For the same reason that Perot’s country club wouldn’t admit Bloomberg.

    But that’s not a problem. The GOP will suck up all of those votes. And in doing so, they will alienate the business community, which is from whom Bloomberg will draw his support.

    I think a Bloomberg candidacy COULD be the culmination of the GOP’s civil war between social conservatives and capitalists. It could also attract moderate Democrats.

    I still have to learn more about Bloomberg. What I have learned is not all good. There is clearly an authoritarian vain running through him. But worse than Giuliani? Worse than Edwards or Obama or Hillary or whomever? What is the saying about the lesser of three evils? I’m not sure it applies. Plus, with Hagel as his running mate, some of that could be mitigated.

  7. Fred C. Says:

    While the conventions are late this coming election, the primaries are being packed into the beginning of the year. Theoretically, this means we could have both nominees by the end of February. Some have suggested the Dems are going to be fighting all the way to the convention, which if true might give Bloomberg an opening of presenting an available alternative to what the GOP tries to sell us next year.

  8. G.E. Smith Says:

    Geroge - You got me there. But that can’t be what he’s planning to do, then. My guess is that he’s planning on launching his campaign after the nominees are clear. That could be as soon as February. My guess is that he’s hoping against hope that neither Rudy or Hillary win, and if both do, he’ll probably not run.

  9. Tom Gellhaus Says:

    I would never support Bloomberg. Just too many disagreements with his positions.

    If Ron Paul fails to win the Republican nomination, I intend to either vote for the Libertarian (if the LP candidate is Kubby - or certain others) or just not vote.

  10. Richard Winger Says:

    John B. Anderson didn’t decide to run for president as an independent until April 23, 1980, and he got on the ballot in all 50 states. Ross Perot in 1992 started in March of that year. Back in 1924 when the laws were better, Robert La Follette didn’t declare as an independent until July 4 of that year. And Theodore Roosevelt wasn’t nominated for president by his Progressive Party until August 1912, yet he got on the ballot in all states except Oklahoma.

  11. Fred C. Says:

    Well Bloomberg’s gone indy today. So now the speculation turns to whether he’ll re-join the Dems and team up with Hagel in Unity08, or teams up with another independent, or Hagel disaffiliates himself as part of a grander plan.

    I expect Arnold will be behind him, and that might be enough for at least double digits here in Cali.

  12. Brian Says:

    There’s always a possibility that at least in some states Bloomberg would be able to get the support of a 3rd party already on the ballot.An example would be here in New York State where the Independence Party is the 3rd largest party with 336,000 enrolled voters. The Independence Party cross-endorsed Bloomberg when he ran for mayor in 2005 so it wouldn’t be that far of a leap for the IPNY to endorse him for President…Brian

  13. Eric Dondero Says:

    Bloomberg’s success depends entirely on who the GOP nominates. If it’s Giuliani, I can’t imagine any scenario where Bloomberg would run.

    Can you imagine 3 NEW YORKERS running at the same time: Hillary, Rudy and Bloomberg? Add Wayne Root in there on the Libertarian Party ticket and that would be 4!!

    Then again, stranger things have happened in politics.

  14. Eric Dondero Says:

    As a Rudy Giuliani supporter, I see this potential Bloomberg run as a huge positive.

    Look at it this way. The Religious Conservatives in the GOP are now in a bind. If they balk at Rudy, they risk causing Bloomberg to jump in as a “Centrist New Yorker.”

    So, it almost causes the Conservatives, who’ve been skeptical of Rudy, to be more pragmatic.

  15. Ken H Says:

    The group that passes for “conservatives” nowadays has been pragmatic for far too long.

  16. matt Says:

    Being pragmatic about Rudy means not nominating him.

    He is an ethics scandal waiting to happen. Last week’s Rolling Stone had a huge spread about it, and if the campaign turns negative, he’s toast unless he has AMAZING dirt on his opponent.

  17. Andy Says:

    “Anyone have data on how much Perot spent vs. the majors? My guess is not as much. A hundred mill or so?”

    I remember in ‘92 Ross Perot spent like $65 million. I believe that the Democrats and Republicans that year each spent around $120 million.

    “Oh yeah? What if the Bloomberg campaign pays $100 per valid signature. Even if a million signatures were required (which they’re not), that would be $100 million or 1/10 of one billion. He’d still have $900 million for the race—and that’s assuming he’d only spend $1 billion.

    Money can solve a lot of problems.”

    It is going to take around 690,000 valid petition signatures to get national ballot access in 2008. Since signatures can be disqualified for a variety of reasons it is necessary to get more than what is required to cover the margin of error. So I’d say that to have a comfortable margin they’d probably have to go for at least 1.2 million raw signatures.

    This is not easy to do, especially when one considers that there are all kinds of rules in different states, however, if one has enough money behind them, which Bloomberg obviously does, this could certainly be accomplished. Money talks.

    “I HAVE SOME SERIOUS PROBLEMS with Bloomberg, mostly on the issue of gun control.”

    That’s a pretty major flaw.

    “I also get the impression that he is more of an elitist than most pols, i.e. thinking he knows better than the crowd (because he’s made his billions doing exactly that). But I would certainly CONSIDER supporting him if he made a balls-to-the-wall run, and if the GOP/Dem/LP candidates truly sucked (Romney/Edwards/Root).”

    Bloomberg is a jackass. There’s no way in hell that I’d vote for him.

  18. Andy Says:

    “And Theodore Roosevelt wasn’t nominated for president by his Progressive Party until August 1912, yet he got on the ballot in all states except Oklahoma.”

    It sounds like Oklahoma must have been a bitch for ballot access even back then.

  19. Andy Says:

    “Can you imagine 3 NEW YORKERS running at the same time: Hillary, Rudy and Bloomberg? Add Wayne Root in there on the Libertarian Party ticket and that would be 4!!”

    This would be a nightmare.

  20. globalist_elitist Says:

    matt - I don’t agree with you. I’m no Rudy fan, but I think he would be difficult for the Dems to beat. He would have the business/war coalition. The social conservatives can go fuck themselves in that case. What I hope is that Fred Thompson is the nominee. Atlas will shrug like a motherfucker in that case.

  21. timothy west Says:

    “Atlas will shrug like a motherfucker in that case.”

    yeah, he will.

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