Friday, February 26, 2016


Today I was explaining the 2016 electoral cycle to my dad. He follows cable news and talk and public radio casually. After slogging through the Hillary-is-the-new-Obama strategy (or how you don't win the Democrat nomination without blacks) that will win her the nomination and explaining how I became so confident that I could clean up in the online markets by detecting Trump's staying power before the opinion-makers had resigned themselves to its reality (no one wanted to bet against Nate Silver, so those of us who did have made a pretty penny), he asked what would happen if Bloomberg ran.

From loquacious to laconic, I confessed I had no clue. I've looked at what I've deemed relevant data from several angles relating to the nominating contests but have only glanced at the general election.

My unstudied guess was that if Bloomberg got in, he'd hurt Hillary and help Trump. Yes, Bloomberg was a Republican more recently than he was a Democrat, but his brand of Republicanism doesn't sell west of the Hudson.

A quick check of the data suggests my lazy assumption is wrong. Reuters-Ipsos conducts several daily tracking polls, one of which examines a hypothetical three-way race between Trump, Hillary, and Bloomberg. The following charts show how the latest results shake out among "likely general election voters" who identify as Republican, Democrat, and independent/other party.

Among Republicans:

Among Democrats:

Among independents:

In recent election cycles, Democrats have been more likely to vote outside of their party than Republicans have been. In Obama's easy re-election victory in 2012, Democrats were slightly less likely to vote for him than Republicans were to vote for Romney. The same thing happened in 2008. Consequently, I'd expect Bloomberg's numbers to be higher among Democrats than among Republicans, but that's not the case.

More importantly, Bloomberg cuts heavily into an independent field that Trump dominates. Given that Republicans are modestly more inclined towards Bloomberg than Democrats are and that independents strongly prefer Trump over Hillary, Occam's Razor suggests that a sizable majority of independents who back Bloomberg in a three-way race would go for Trump if it was just between him and Hillary.

Fortunately for Trumpians, the markets don't think Bloomberg is going to throw his hat in (currently 4:1 odds that he won't). Unless Bernie pulls off an upset--and he's running through a potentially fatal gauntlet right now, with South Carolina today and a slew of heavily black southern states on Tuesday--that money seems smart to me.


Anonymous said...

Bloomberg loves Hillary and will only get in the race if she is dead in the water.

So with your data, Bloomberg MIGHT run on the razor thin chance he swings the election for her if it looks like Trump might win. But in that case, he absolutely would not be running to win. Which is cool for people to think about but in actuality is supremely weird, expensive, and time-consuming thing to actually do, especially without outcome guaranteed. So I don't think he actually runs.

Its sort of ironic though, with the insane conspiracy theories that Trump was a Hillary stalking horse, that Hillary might actually end up with a stalking horse to help her win... AGAINST Trump.

Audacious Epigone said...

Yeah, kick the conspiracy theory into overdrive: Hillary gets both Bloomberg and Trump to run to throw the election to her!

Mil-Tech Bard said...


See this --

Hillary could lose to Trump in Democratic New York
By Fredric U. Dicker
February 28, 2016

It appears Bloomberg's effects vary widely on a local NY State basis from the national numbers you are crunching.

Most of the polling didn’t address the possibility that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg would run as an independent, but some of it did — and found the former mayor took “significant’’ votes away from Clinton in heavily Democratic New York City and the surrounding suburbs, a source familiar with the data said.

The new polls, a second source said, showed Trump’s support, even without Bloomberg in the race, was “surprisingly strong’’ in Westchester and on Long Island, the key suburbs often viewed as crucial swing bellwethers on how statewide elections will turn out.

IOW, Democratic voters most familiar with Hillary will vote Bloomberg.

Audacious Epigone said...


That intuitively makes sense to me.

My dad, who's a sort of mainstream libertarian/conservative hybrid, has a positive image of Bloomberg via Business Week and his financial network. Outside of New York, he's probably seen more as a business personality than as the schoolmarm mayor who wants to restrict people from having large fountain drinks.

Mil-Tech Bard said...


Several points for consideration --

1. Bloomberg running for President might throw NY and NJ to Trump.

2. Is there any possible route to the Presidential election for Democrats that does not include NY and NJ?

3. Can Trump with the sitting NJ Christie take both NY & NJ out of the D column and put it into the "R" column without Bloomberg? Likely so because,

4. All politics is local, and Trump is a local NY City boy from way back. Trump is the first real local NY Republican at the Presidential level Democrats have faced since Theodore Roosevelt.

Hillary is a footloose cosmopolitan from Arkansas. She is a nasty piece of work only nice to powerful people who can help her and a crook besides. She treats everyone else like S**t, including and especially her Secret Service detail. That last fact is widely known to locals.

Trump, OTOH, has family roots in NY City going back 350 years. Buildings on the skyline have his name. He has been a NY City celebrity for 30-years. He has been parodied in Gremlins 2 and had a bit part in Home Alone 2 over 25 years ago.

The city ice rink was rebuilt by him.

Trump has been grand marshal of the Veterans and WW2 50th anniversary parades.

He has a knowledge of NY City only a mayor or governor could have.

And his daughter married a Jew, converted, and Trump has grand kids in the tribe.

The Democrats are now facing the fact no candidate they have can win without NY state. Trump can take NY State. And their efforts to keep NY State and NJ will leave them vulnerable everywhere else.

This is called a 40(+) State Landslide.