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Poll: Bloomberg Bid Could Nab 13 Percent of Voters

Image: Poll: Bloomberg Bid Could Nab 13 Percent of Voters

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Tuesday, 26 Jan 2016 07:39 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Two days after Michael Bloomberg said he was considering an independent bid for president, polls showed that the former New York mayor would draw up to 13 percent of the vote against possible Democratic and Republican nominees.

Ballot access would not be difficult for the billionaire tycoon. As John Fund reported in National Review online Monday, “Richard Winger, the editor of Ballot Access News, estimates that Bloomberg would have to spend $5 million to $6 million to get ballot lines in all 50 states. The first deadline is in Texas, which requires 80,000 valid signatures on petitions be submitted by May 9 of this year.”

But pollsters and analysts who spoke to me Monday agreed that the communications magnate, considered liberal on social issues and more conservative on fiscal issues, will most likely choose not to run in the end.

“I don’t think he’ll do it,” Franklin and Marshall College professor G. Terry Madonna, considered the premier pollster in Pennsylvania, told me, “Starting a national candidacy for president is too overwhelming a task.”

Madonna specifically cited the “all-or-nothing system of the Electoral College, in which you win all of the electoral votes of a state if you come in first and get nothing if you come in second or third.”

He noted that the last significant independent candidate, Ross Perot in 1992, “got 19 percent of the vote nationwide, but didn’t carry a single state and didn’t get a single electoral vote.”

Madonna’s view was echoed by Dick Bennett, dean of pollsters in New Hampshire.

Bennett, whose American Research poll has been a fixture in the Granite State since 1976, said that “the mechanics of getting someone on the ballot [as an independent] are so hard to do. And what voting blocs does he represent? Liberals on abortion, same-sex marriage, gun control? Conservatives on fiscal issues? I don’t see him as a unifier of a group on those issues.”

According to the just-completed Morning Consult Poll, in a theoretical race, voters nationwide would go 35 percent for Bernie Sanders (on the Democratic side), 34 percent for Republican Donald Trump, and 12 percent for independent Bloomberg.

In another theoretical race with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the same poll shows Trump edging her 37 percent to 36 percent and Bloomberg 13 percent.

With Ted Cruz as the Republican and Sanders the Democrat, Morning Consult shows Sanders leading Cruz 36 percent to 28 percent and Bloomberg 10 percent. With Marco Rubio the Republican nominee, the survey’s figures are Sanders 36 percent, Rubio 29 percent, and Bloomberg 10 percent.

Jay O’Callaghan, a veteran analyst of election results and polls, said he doesn’t believe Bloomberg will run because “the best polls for third-party and independent candidates are the first.”

He recalled how both Perot in 1992 and former Illinois Rep. John B. Anderson (who ran as an independent after dropping out of the Republican nomination race) in 1980 “were in the 30 percent range in many polls when they started. Both slipped — Perot getting 19 percent in the end and Anderson getting 8 percent.”

O’Callaghan also pointed to former Alabama Gov. George Wallace as the American Independent Party candidate for president starting the race in polls with as much as 21 percent and dropping to 13 percent.

“If Bloomberg is starting at 13 percent,” he told me, “I don’t see him gaining much as the campaign goes on.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

 

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Two days after Michael Bloomberg said he was considering an independent bid for president, polls showed that the former New York mayor would draw up to 13 percent of the vote against possible Democratic and Republican nominees.
bloomberg, sanders, clinton, trump
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2016-39-26
Tuesday, 26 Jan 2016 07:39 AM
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