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Wednesday, June 20, 2007
posted by Kyle Hampton | 11:55 AM | permalink
Much has been made of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent switch from Republican affiliation to unaffiliated. Of course the question right away has been “Who does this hurt?” Chuck Todd has his thoughts:
Looking at voting patterns and the strength of both parties' bases, a true three-way race may help the Democrats more than the Republicans. Why? It’s simple -- the South. The irony of a Bloomberg candidacy is that it could make the Democrats more competitive in the South because their 35% base vote in the South is made up of die-hard Democrats.
Jonah Goldberg at NRO counters this thinking:
Moreover, is it inconceivable that the logic Todd & Co. use about the South might also have applicability in the Northeast and California? Splitting the limousine liberal vote in New York, New Jersey, Conn., California and Mass. could change the dynamics for a Republican quite favorably (depending on the Republican). Indeed, the Republican contender wouldn't need to actually win all or almost any of these states in this scenario. He could however force a Hillary or an Obama to spend time and money in areas a Democrat should have locked up.
Personally I think that Goldberg is too conservative in his assessment. A piece by Ben Smith at the Politico sums up some of Bloomberg’s positions on issues:
His political and personal views are more in line with moderate Democratic Party politics: His first major act as mayor was a large property tax increase, his most controversial was a citywide ban on smoking, and the signature accomplishment of his first term was an education reform that mixed centralized control with increased spending.

Vocally opposed to remarriage for himself, he favors the right to same-sex marriage and has confessed not only to smoking marijuana but to enjoying it.
Does this sound like someone taking the votes of social conservatives, foreign policy hawks, or fiscal disciplinarians? It seems unlikely at the least. Rather, assuming that Bloomberg is against the war in Iraq, it seems likely that Democratic-leaning independents would vote for Bloomberg rather than Republican-leaning independents. People are presented with two options for an anti-war, big government, socially liberal candidate. None of those positions lines up well with Republican voters.

Of course, all the fanfare is much ado about nothing given that we all know that Romney will win, regardless of who he’s pitted against.

Update: Marc Ambinder follows my logic, here.

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