While the nation is still months out from the 2016 general election that will determine the 45th President of the United States, but campaign season is already in full swing and has been for near a year. That makes former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement that he is considering running in 2016 an especially unique statement. With candidates already running on established platforms and clear front-runners established with the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, would Bloomberg have a viable campaign this late in the game?
Bloomberg As A Politician
Thus far, the former Mayor has only stated that he is considering all his options, but his entry into the race at this late point has the potential to cause a stir in both parties if he is able to campaign hard.
Bloomberg’s run would be distinct as an independent bid. A registered Democrat before seeking office, a Republican on the ballot, and an Independent by the time of his third term, Bloomberg tends to lean to the left, but has garnered both respect and resentment for his willingness to shift on the political spectrum from all sides.
Bloomberg comes with a unique set of credentials, as well. Like many of the candidates, he has made a career in politics and has shown that he knows how to play the political game. He shares something with wildcard favorite Trump in that he is also a household name outside of politics. The billionaire founder, CEO, and owner of data and media company Bloomberg L.P., if he is clever, could cash in on his time external to the political game to give him the raw appeal that candidates like Trump and Carson depend on.
Having seen the city of New York through the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Bloomberg also has a patriotic appeal that allowed him three terms as mayor and an approval rating of 49%, higher than either President Obama or President George W. Bush at the ends of their terms.
A Bloomberg Campaign
So there’s potential in Bloomberg as a candidate. The question still remains as to whether or not he would successfully be able to run this late in the game. That largely comes down to whether he can deliver something that the other candidates cannot. Sanders’ sweeping victory in New Hampshire and Trump’s constant presence on the campaign trail prove that people want something different, and Bloomberg would have to carefully walk the line between the cries of the people and the expectations of the politicians.
It would have to be done on his own time and his own dime. His financial resources are already in place, but the process of securing a ballot spot as a late comer and an independent candidate is a labor intensive process, and one that requires support at the public level. To that end, Bloomberg has limited time to make his decision, and even then there is no guarantee of success. If no announcement comes very soon to stir the silent majority, a Bloomberg campaign will be a no-go, either because he chooses not to run or because he simply could not get the support in time.