Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Will Michael Bloomberg...

...make an independent run for the White House? According to a front-page article in the New York Times Sunday:

A longtime Democrat who became a Republican to run for mayor in 2001 and later switched to be an independent, Bloomberg would strongly consider a bid if the general election looked like it could turn into a contest between Sanders and Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. 

So will he? No.

And here's why. First of all, in a new poll the New York billionaire is trailing that other New York billionaire and the 74-year-old socialist from Vermont:

Bernie Sanders, 35 percent
Donald Trump, 34
Michael Bloomberg, 12
Don't know, 19

I know, I know -- it's early. And Mr. Bloomberg's numbers could improve between now and November. I get that. So, for the sake of argument, let's give the former mayor of New York those 19 percent "don't knows." That brings him up to 31 percent -- competitive. I still say he won't run.

Why? Let's look at the last two third-party candidates who made a serious run for the White House, Ross Perot in 1992 and '96, and John Anderson in 1980.


Bill Clinton: 47,401,185 votes, 49.2 percent, 31 states + DC, 379 Electoral votes.
Bob Dole: 39,197,469 votes, 40.7 percent, 19 states, 159 Electoral votes.
Ross Perot: 8,085,294 votes, 8.4 percent, 0 states, 0 Electoral votes.


Clinton: 44,909,806 votes, 43.0 percent, 32 states + DC, 370 Electoral votes.
George H. W. Bush: 39,104,550 votes, 37.5 percent, 18 states, 168 Electoral votes.
Perot: 19,743,821 votes, 18.9 percent, 0 states, 0 Electoral votes.


Ronald Reagan: 43,903,230 votes, 50.8 percent, 44 states, 489 Electoral votes.
Jimmy Carter: 35,480,115 votes, 41.0 percent, 6 states + DC, 49 Electoral votes.
John Anderson: 5,719,850 votes, 6.6 percent, 0 states, 0 Electoral votes.

Anybody see a pattern here? Neither Perot nor Anderson won a single Electoral College vote in three elections. Do you know why? Because neither one carried a single state. And do you know why? Because it's really, really hard for a third-party candidate to win a majority in any one state.

Now, Mr. Bloomberg is a very wealthy man. Very wealthy. And he could easily afford to get on the ballot in every state and run a credible race. But he's also a very successful businessman. Very successful. And he didn't get there by taking bad risks with his own money. I have to think if he takes a good, hard look at it (and he will), he'll conclude that a run for the White House is a fool's errand. Spend a billion dollars of his own money to win zero Electoral votes? I don't think so; he's just too smart and too sensible.

P. S. Trump won't do it either for the same reasons. I don't care how big his ego is, he won't spend a fortune of his own money in a lost cause. He's not that stupid.

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