This weekend, the New York Times reported that Michael Bloomberg is considering entering the race for president as an independent candidate. Bloomberg’s party affiliation can’t tell us much about which voters he would target, because his affiliated parties and political positions have spanned both ends of the political spectrum. The former mayor of New York City is currently registered as an independent, but from 2001 to 2007, he was a registered Republican and before that, was registered as a Democrat.
His advisors say the former mayor is considering entering the race if more extreme candidates such as Sanders or Trump are nominated by their respective parties. His pro-business record would make him an appealing candidate for moderate Republicans, but a closer look at his Crowdpac score and his contributions to other candidates reveals a more liberal candidate who is closer to Vice President Joe Biden (4.5 L) than to an establishment Republican like Jeb Bush (5.4 R).
Bloomberg's 3L score was calculated based on his political donations to other candidates and organizations, the majority of the money going to groups with moderately liberal scores. Among his top recipients were his own Super PAC, Independence USA, and education groups like the California Charter Schools Association. His top very liberal recipients are women's issues groups Women Vote! and Planned Parenthood Votes, and his top conservative recipients were Mississippi Conservatives, (a PAC to elect Sen. Thad Cochran), and West Main St. Values (a PAC supporting Sen. Lindsey Graham).
If Bloomberg competes with Trump and tries to win over moderate Republican voters, he’ll tout his business record (he’s the 7th wealthiest American), and point to the $4.5 million dollars he’s given to Republican campaign committees since 1996. Trump’s Crowdpac score has shifted right by 5 points since he began campaigning, and if Trump continues to embrace far-right policies, Bloomberg could gain supporters who find Trump’s values too extreme.
Bloomberg’s appeal to Democratic voters might take a similar approach. Bloomberg’s Crowdpac score is a 3L: far to the right of Sanders, and close to Vice President Biden’s score of 4.5L. Democrats who would have supported Biden or a more mainstream Democrat might be most ideologically in-sync with Bloomberg. And, since leaving office, Bloomberg’s biggest contributions have been to pro-choice, pro-gun control, and pro-Democratic PACs - earning him strong liberal bona fides.
While waging a campaign for President as an Independent would be extraordinarily difficult, Bloomberg has the resources to compete. His challenge would be capturing the support of America’s centrist voters who are increasingly abandoning traditional political parties - and hoping that they vote...
To find out more about Michael Bloomberg and support him, check out his Crowdpac page: