Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rumors continue to pick up steam about Michael Bloomberg throwing his hat in the ring for a November08 run.

If he does join the fray, the question I have is which party will suffer more? Will he siphon off more votes from the Democrat or the Republican? Or will he take votes equally and simply suppress the overall number of votes needed to win?

My bet would be on the latter most scenario, which if Hillary is the Dems candidate would put her in somewhat of a similar spot as her husband when he ran versus Bush Sr. and Perot. We know that Nader clearly hurt Gore, taking votes from him that would've went to the Democrat, however the analysis is less clear about who got hurt most by Perot's run and many have concluded it was shared pain. Nonetheless, with Perot getting nearly 19% of the popular vote, Bill Clinton could win with "just" 43%, or less than a 50% majority.

Bloomberg would have the same effect, though I'm not sure he would fare as well as Perot. Outside of the Northeast, Bloomberg is less known whereas Perot was becoming quite the kooky sensation when he ran, to the point where he became fodder for SNL -- a testament to his celebrity. Also, the novelty of a third-party candidate was treated more seriously at the time with many voters willing to cast a ballot towards the unconventional to make a point. Given the nightmare we've had to endure for the last 7+ years thanks in part to Nader's need to run, the public will be much less inclined to pull the lever for a third-party alternative this time around.

It will be interesting to see what Bloomberg decides. Clearly it appears he does have every intention to give it a go.

No comments: