Bloomberg Could Have “Perot” Effect

New CNN poll shows:
41% - Clinton
38% - Giuliani
17% - Bloomberg

These are pretty good polling numbers for Mayor Bloomberg, so far in advance of the election. Bloomberg could spend over a billion dollars of his own money on a campaign, so starting out at 17% is actually a very nice place to be.

I think it’s possible, and maybe you could call this a prediction, but I think Bloomberg will be leading in the polls at some point next year. Just as Perot did a few months before his campaign faltered in 1992. The big challenge for Bloomberg will be to peak in the first week of November rather than the first week of June.

From CNN...

Is there popular support for a Michael Bloomberg presidential candidacy? The latest CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday has the answer: Yes—a surprising amount.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg insists he’s not running for president. “We even have two people from New York who are candidates for president of the United States,” Bloomberg said. “I’m not sure the state needs a third.”

One New Yorker, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is the national front-runner for the Republican nomination, with 30 percent support. Undeclared candidate Fred Thompson is now tied with John McCain for second (19 percent for Thompson, 18 percent for McCain).

Among the other GOP contenders, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Texas congressman Ron Paul were tied with 2 percent; Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado and former Wisconsin governor and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson came in with 1 percent each; and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore and Rep. Duncan Hunter of California drew less than half of 1 percent.

Another New Yorker, Sen. Hillary Clinton, is the Democrats’ national front-runner. With Al Gore out of the race, Clinton of New York led the list of contenders with 43 percent. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois was next with 25 percent, and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina ran third with 17 percent.

Among the second-tier candidates, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had 5 percent support; Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden of Delaware, 3 percent; and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, 2 percent. Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd and former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska each had less than half of 1 percent support.

The margin of error for the Republican poll is plus or minus 5 percent. The margin of error for the Democratic poll was 4.5 percent.

Pit the two front-runner’s against each other and what do you get? A very close match—Clinton 49 percent, Giuliani 48 percent.

Is there any room for Bloomberg? Maybe.

The New York mayor does have a message: The country doesn’t need more division. “It’s my perception that government at all levels is becoming more partisan rather than less,” Bloomberg said.

Formerly a Democrat, Bloomberg has been elected twice as a Republican and recently just declared himself an independent. That’s fueled a week of speculation about a run for the White House.

“I am disappointed he left the Republican Party. I have no idea if he’s running or not,” Giuliani said.

What does the public make of Bloomberg? Forty percent of Americans have no opinion of him at all. Among those who do, the balance is mildly favorable (37 percent favorable, 23 percent unfavorable). And views are about the same among Republicans, Democrats and independents.

Polls taken earlier this year showed that if Bloomberg ran for president as an independent, his support would have been in the single digits.

With all the new attention since his party switch, Bloomberg’s support seems to be on the rise—17 percent in a three-way contest against Clinton and Giuliani.

That puts Bloomberg in third place, but 17 percent is still an impressive showing for a candidate who’s not even running. Seventeen percent nearly matches the 19 percent of the vote Ross Perot got the first time he ran in 1992.

Even if he doesn’t win, some people think Bloomberg could affect the outcome of the race. “If he runs there will be two liberals in the race versus one Republican. So unlike the Perot phenomenon that really hurt Republicans, this has a chance to hurt Democrats,” Republican strategist Scott Reed said.

That’s not happening yet. Right now, Bloomberg would take votes about equally from Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, and the outcome would still be close (41 percent for Clinton, 38 percent for Giuliani).

Keep in mind that Bloomberg is not well known nationally. If he were to run, he could spend a lot of money defining himself to voters across the country.

But the CNN-ORC poll shows that a lot of voters are open to a new choice.

23 Responses to “Bloomberg Could Have “Perot” Effect”

  1. G.E. Smith Says:

    And let’s not forget that the 17% is in Bloomberg’s nightmare scenario for nominees. Put up a Thompson/Edwards/Bloomberg poll and that 17% would jump noticeably, I m sure.

    I think people are being too dismissive of Bloomberg’s campaign. He is not Ross Perot and many of the people who voted for Ross Perot will not vote for him. The people who voted for George H.W. Bush are the ones who are going to vote for him. Fred Thompson is Ross Perot.

  2. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Possibly. In a Thompson-Edwards-Bloomberg race I could actually see Bloomberg and Thompson fighting it out for first.

    They both have the appearance of statesmen.. or what passes for it these days. John Edwards seems like a substance-less Don Lapre infomercial. So in your situation I could see either Bloomberg or Thompson winning it.

    Now, Bloomberg vs. Romney and Edwards…. that might be the dream scenario for elected him. Edwards is weak and I think Romney might be even less appealing. That would be a 40-30-30 race in the making right there.

  3. G.E. Smith Says:

    If it were a dream scenario of Thompson/Edwards/Bloomberg I think we would have Atlas Shrugged in real life. I think the entire business world would threaten to go on strike or move to wherever John Galt did if either Thompson the China basher or Edwards the socialist won—or they would both have to change their tunes and quick.

  4. Michael Says:

    Rudy vs Hillary vs Mike, add in at least 5 % for Alan Keyes as the Constitution Party candidate because a lot of pro-life votes will be leaving the GOP on Election Day.

  5. Robert Standard Says:

    I don’t trust CNN polls. They have an extreme bias towards the Democrats.

    There’s no way Hillary Clinton has 48% support in the American electorate.

  6. Joel Says:

    Bloomberg would really create a stir. He’s trying to sell himself almost as a libertarian- fiscal conservative, social liberal. If he can keep up that perception, and continue ramming through wildly popular bipartisan legislation in New York, he has a very legitimate chance. Remember, the guy is worth over $11 billion.


  7. G.E. Smith Says:

    $5.8 billion according to my numbers. It really doesn’t matter. $2 billion would suffice.

    The word “libertarian” is being appropriated to mean something other than it once did, just as “liberal” was. According to most pundits, guys like Bloomberg and Rudy are “libertarians.” When Cato did its study of the “libertarian vote,” they weren’t talking about guys like Andy, they were talking about social liberal/ fiscal conservatives. Bloomberg will appeal to this bloc, which has been neglected about as long as African Americans, and is more numerous to boot.

  8. Fred C. Says:

    Hillary vs Bloomberg vs Any Republican Besides Ron Paul would mean 3 pro-war or moderately pro-war candidates as the frontrunners. If the far-left took advantage of this effectively they could finally get that 5% they’ve been drooling over for years. Nader would have to recognize that someone else has taken up the independent center and focus on Green and socialist nominations, then focus his campaign on liberal states by berating voters that might still be pissed in 08 about the dems inaffectiveness on Iraq. He would also provide a decent counter-balance to the current polls giving the dems electoral college pickups in a three-way race, making a Bloomberg presidency all the more possible.

    Since Nader’s pretty much guaranteed to run should Hillary get the nod, Bloomberg should encourage Nader to give it one last go, then demand that all candidates with a hypothetical chance of winning should be in the debates, or at least demand a low enough level of support to get Nader in there and give Hillary a healthy tongue-lashing.

  9. Carl Says:

    Well, it’s good to see Ron Paul up to two percent. Three more points before fall, and he begins to look credible.

  10. G.E. Smith Says:

    I think Hillary would prefer to get her “healthy tongue lashing” from another Green candidate, such as Cynthia McKinney or Pat LaMarche—“Oh no he di’nt!”

    Turns out Fred Thompson isn’t the anti-globalist I thought he was. That’s good. He’s still a war-mongering apeman, though.

    Bloomberg has been categorized as “strongly anti-Iraq”, Fred C. Is that not accurate?

  11. Fred C. Says:

    Damn, that was a good zing…

    I’m not sure if you mean anti-Iraq as in against the war or against the country itself. My understanding is that he’s taken the same line as some dems, essentially “I don’t like it but we gotta stick around anyway.” Not good enough for pacifists that want us out at once yesterday. He opposed the timetable approach, I don’t know if that leaves the door open for rapid disengagement to lock up the anti-war vote, but it doesn’t sound like it.

  12. Joe Says:

    Carl, I too am pleasantly surprised to see Ron Paul polling so well.

  13. Joey Dauben Says:

    I was real young in 1992, so forgive me when I ask: Ross Perot was actually leading? Are you kidding me?

  14. Jay Matthews Says:

    Note to any Paul supporters, he’ll be on MSNBC at 4:30 today.

    Carl and Joe, I recently saw him at 3 percent on one poll.

  15. Jason Says:

    This is purely a vanity campaign. We are about to embark on an adventure with the 6 billion dollar man in his quest to buy the Presidency of the United States. In my opinion, however, Bloomberg could spin 4 Billion and still wouldn’t receive 30 million votes, if even that. A candidate such as he, would most likely spend 500 - 1000 bucks per vote.

    However, the GOP should be salavating over the thought of him entering the race. Hillary will be in big trouble, she will lose the Big Apple—or at least a couple million votes—not to mention, many votes from the liberal Democrat’s NE states. The Republican puppet, yet to be identified, may very well win a state or two up there.

    If this some how gets down to a three way race, Bloomberg being the odd man out, we will have a Republican back in office. Bloomberg defeats the Democrats all by himself.

  16. Jackcjackson Says:

    I believe Perot was leading before he dropped out. When he came back, I think he lost too much credibility. I mean he got 19% even after all the black helicopter stuff, dropping out,etc. Winning was definitely a possibility.

  17. G.E. Smith Says:

    I don’t think it’s a “vanity” campaign, and so what if it is? There’s nothing wrong with vanity. He is the freaking mayor of New York—the largest city in the U.S., and that’s the ONLY office Rudy G has ever held.

  18. Fred C. Says:

    But Rudy was a lawyer, isn’t that the main qualification for public office these days? :(

  19. Joseph O Says:

    We draft Bloomberg to get independents in the debate now and for future contests…

  20. Darcy G. Richardson Says:

    “I was real young in 1992, so forgive me when I ask: Ross Perot was actually leading? Are you kidding me?”—- Joey Dauben


    At one point in the campaign, CNN had Perot peaking with 39% — fourteen points ahead of the first Bush and fourteen points in front of Bill Clinton. Of course, that was before Perot inexplicably withdrew from the race…only to re-enter the contest again with only 33 days left in the campaign.

  21. Darcy G. Richardson Says:

    My previous message should have said” “eight points ahead of the first Bush and fourteen points in front of Bill Clinton.”

  22. Eric Dondero Says:

    Consider the source of the poll: Clinton News Network (CNN).

    Of course, they are going to do everything possible to portray Hillary Clinton in the lead over Giuliani.

  23. G.E. Smith Says:

    When did the Clintons buy CNN? I was under the impression that it was owned by Time Warner (TWX), which is owned by its shareholders. I did not hear of a Clinton buyout. Dondero with another scoop!

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