Tags: Trump Administration | Michael Bloomberg | Presidential | Race

Clara Del Villar: Bloomberg Would Upend 2016 Race

Clara Del Villar: Bloomberg Would Upend 2016 Race
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 22 February 2016 01:12 PM

If the major party nominations go to the over-the-top Donald Trump or the ethically challenged Hillary Clinton, their sky-high negatives would give former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg a chance to enter the race and be a real contender.

A survey by veteran pollster Frank Luntz shows Bloomberg within striking distance in a race between Trump and ­Clinton. Bloomberg wins 29 percent, compared to 37 percent for Trump and 33 percent for Clinton.

Other polls show Bloomberg with less support, but if the billionaire runs, he will have plenty of resources to introduce himself to the 43 percent of Americans who aren't familiar with him.

He also would have an appeal to people tired of the two-party status quo. 

At a New York event last week, the former New York City mayor lamented that while America has lost faith in its institutions, the current candidates "instead of fixing it, are trying to exploit it. The actual solutions that Americans seek have been in short supply."

"From my time in both business and government, I know that you don't solve problems by pointing fingers, or making pie-in-the-sky promises. You solve them by bringing people together around common goals, promoting innovation, demonstrating independence, and recognizing that compromise is not a bad word."

Sounds good, but can he win?

Experts are right to point out the odds against an independent winning. The high-water mark for a Third Way candidate in the last 25 years was Ross Perot in 1992, who won 19 percent.

But to dismiss Bloomberg's chances this volatile year is to forget we've already had a series of surprises — including the fall of Jeb Bush, and the ascent of Trump and Bernie Sanders — that were completely missed by pundits.

Bloomberg's biggest challenge would be the Electoral College. 

Against a Trump and a Clinton, he might have a real chance to win the needed majority of votes. But even if he just won some key states — California, New York and Virginia come to mind — he would throw the election into the House.

There each state delegation casts a single vote, with a majority of states required to be elected.

Right now, Republicans dominate 34 state delegations, Democrats only 14 and two are tied. But that's before the negotiation over policy and politics began.

Many Republicans would be aghast at having Trump take over their party or serving four years under him. Bloomberg could pledge a reform agenda along with the campaign cash to insulate Republicans who back him from 2018 primary challengers.

Bloomberg inspires confidence. He is a risk taker with media credibility who has shown entrepreneurial talent in building a multibillion dollar business. He took those skills and went on to help transform the nation's largest city in the aftermath of 9/11.

During his 12-year tenure, violent crime fell by 20 percent. He was a strong and consistent proponent of Stop and Frisk. But made sure to spend a lot of time in Hispanic, Black and Asian communities explaining his policies. 

In his final re-election bid in 2009 he won 43 percent of the Hispanic vote and 23 percent of the African-American vote, and that was running adjacent the incumbent African-American city comptroller.

The reason for his consistent diverse base of support was that he delivered.

During Bloomberg's tenure from 2001 to 2013, New York City's economic output grew by almost 60 percent. Compare that to the national growth rate of just 24 percent. He entered office with a budget deficit of $4.8 billion and in his final year delivered the first city budget in modern history to be balanced.

He tackled the city's failing pubic schools with a combination of new resources and school choice in the form of charter schools. Today, 22 of the top 25 public schools in the state are in New York City.

Technology Initiatives flourished. Hundreds of city agency lines were consolidated into one 311 number to aid residents calling with problems. Technology centers for educating tech talent became a permanent part of the city's business landscape.

Bloomberg rezoned 40 percent of the city, opening up both industrial hubs and park land.

Bloomberg's social views are indeed controversial and included such missteps as a much publicized failed attempt to restrict the size of soda drinks. But Bloomberg's backing for a ban on smoking in public spaces has paid off and has helped propel a trend that has increased the life expectancy of New Yorkers by three years since he took office in 2001.

Bloomberg has been in reality a tough business and political leader rather than an over-the-top reality TV star. While he doesn't have the razzle-dazzle of Donald Trump he has shown the skills, energy and moxie to win office as an independent and to bring about real change, not just the promise of it.

Clara Del Villar is the Founder of the Hispanic Free market network.

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If the major party nominations go to the over-the-top Donald Trump or the ethically challenged Hillary Clinton, their sky-high negatives would give former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg a chance to enter the race and be a real contender.
Michael Bloomberg, Presidential, Race
Monday, 22 February 2016 01:12 PM
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