So NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was a lifelong Democrat before he ran (and won) as a Republican in 2001, is now leaving the GOP to start a bid as the "independent" candidate for President. As a man literally made of money, he can mount a huge campaign. No, he’ll never be president, but he can become a Naderesque spoiler.
But a spoiler for who? Will Bloomberg take votes away from the Dems of the GOP?
This Pollster.com poll is illuminating, looking at a Clinton-Guiliani matchup both with, and without, a Bloomberg third party candidate:
Obviously, while there is a slight overall effect which favors Democrats (i.e., Bloomberg will pull votes from Republicans overall), the breakdown is a little more complicated on a state-by-state basis. For example, Virginia carries with it many electoral votes, enough to swing an election, and the Bloomberg effect might make it swong Republican (just as the Nader effect theoretically gave Florida to Bush in 2001).
It’s early in the season, but this could become a major factor in the 2008 elections.