If former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg mounts an independent run, Senate Democrats are warning that he not only has no chance of winning the presidency, but would likely only act as a "spoiler," The Hill
"I just don't know how practical it is and how realistic it is. With every day that passes it gets more and more difficult to even accomplish it effectively," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who has campaigned in Iowa for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
"He would split the 'We want a New York billionaire' vote," McCaskill added.
In 1992, billionaire businessman Ross Perot won 19 percent of the popular vote, and not only derailed the campaign of incumbent President George H.W. Bush,
but helped Bill
Clinton win with 43 percent of the vote.
Democrats are worried of a repeat from the 1992 election and do not want to see the
flipped scenario occur with Bloomberg, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
And, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, if Bloomberg enters the race it "would cut Clinton's lead over Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump from 10 percentage points to six."
"I've been around long enough to remember third-party candidates. I remember when [former Illinois Republican Rep. John] Anderson ran in 1980 and he got less than 10 percent of the vote. I remember when Ross Perot ran. I don't care how much money you have, running a third party candidacy is very challenging," said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who has campaigned for Clinton in New Hampshire.
"I can't imagine that Bloomberg is going to waste his money or his time if there's somebody there he thinks is going to be a good president and Hillary is going to be a good president," she added.
According to a Morning Consult poll, Bloomberg has only 13 percent
support in a three-way match against Trump and Clinton and 12 percent support in a race against Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
While sources close to Bloomberg say that he will only enter the race if Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz wins the GOP nomination, The Hill notes that the former New York City mayor would need to announce his decision before the end of March in order to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states.
"Somebody coming in as a third party has a very difficult challenge," said West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. "He's not been known to make a lot of unwise decisions. He's been known to make pretty good decisions. I think he'll evaluate it pretty well."
In terms of Bloomberg's potential support, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy added, "The polling I've looked at suggests he has a pretty low ceiling."
The Hill notes that this is not the first time Bloomberg has considered a presidential run. The former New York City Mayor looked seriously at running for president in 2008 and mulled it again in 2012.
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