Tuesday, June 12, 2007
A new telephone survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports highlights the
difficulty of estimating the potential impact of an independent
Presidential campaign by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
While any third party campaign is a long-shot at best, Bloomberg has
reportedly said he will spend up to a billion dollars of his own money
on a campaign. Given such resources, he could be competitive with the
major party candidates in getting his message out.
When voters are told in advance that Bloomberg might spend up to a
billion dollars on a campaign, and that he might support proposals to
get voters back in the loop of Americaâs political system, 51% of New
Jersey voters say they would consider voting for him. Just 23% would
not. Not surprisingly, given his regional name recognition, thatâs a
bit more support than found in national polling.
In fact, in a three-way race with Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D)
and former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (R), Bloomberg is tied for
the lead. Itâs Obama 32% Bloomberg 32% and Thompson 20%.
Bloomberg does almost as well when the other candidates are former
North Carolina Senator John Edwards (D) and former Massachusetts
Governor Mitt Romney (R). With that match up, itâs Edwards 34%
Bloomberg 32% and just 18% for Romney.
Bloomberg does not fare as well when the major party candidates are
also from New York. An all New York general election match-up shows
New York Senator Hillary Clinton (D) with 38%, former New York City
Mayor Rudy Giuliani 29% and Bloomberg 21%.
If Bloomberg found himself in second place as Election 2008
progresses, the dynamics get even more interesting. If it became clear
that the Republican candidate couldnât win, 48% of New Jersey voters
say theyâd pull the lever for Bloomberg over New York Senator Hillary
Clinton (D). Just 36% would vote for Clinton.
If the Democratic candidate couldnât win, 33% of voters would prefer
former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani while 48% would prefer Bloomberg.
These results are dramatically stronger for the Mayor than an earlier
New Jersey survey in which respondents were not told in advance about
Bloombergâs reported spending commitment or any campaign themes.
In this survey, before the ballot questions were asked, respondents
were asked a series of questions to determine if they would be more or
less likely to vote for Bloomberg. Forty-six percent (46%) say theyâd
be more likely to vote for Bloomberg he were to support a proposal
requiring all tax increases to be approved by voters.
Forty-five percent (45%) say theyâd be more likely to vote for
Bloomberg if he were to build a true third party rather than just make
an ego-driven run for the White House.
In this survey, 33% of New Jersey voters believe it is possible for
him to win the White House if he spends that much money. Thirty-nine
percent (39%) say it is not possible while 28% are not sure. Those
figures are identical to the earlier New Jersey survey.
Bloomberg is contemplating running at a time when the brand names of
the two major parties is not doing well --the number of people
considering themselves Republicans has dropped to the lowest level of
the Bush era and the number of Democrats has just declined to the
lowest level in seventeen months.
Rasmussen Reports regularly tracks public attitudes towards Congress,
the War on Terror, and other topics. Rasmussen Reports also
continuously updates favorability ratings and general election
match-ups for all Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates
along with ratings for Members of Congress, Other Political Figures,
and Journalists. The Presidentâs Job Approval ratings are updated daily.
Rasmussen Reports conducts ongoing surveys measuring the attitudes of
Americans on the news of the day. Recent surveys have asked about the
War in Iraq, immigration, gun control, concerns about additional
terrorist attacks, trust in Congress, and the Supreme Court decision
on partial-birth abortion. The latest updates can be found on the
Rasmussen Reports home page.