Paul, Bloomberg Would Hurt Republicans More Than Democrats

A new Rasmussen Reports poll seems to suggest that third-party runs by Michael Bloomberg and Ron Paul would hurt Republicans more than Democrats in the General Election:

In a head-to-head match-up between Romney and Obama, Obama currently leads by nine percentage points. When Bloomberg and Paul are added to the list of possible candidates, Obama’s lead grows to twelve points, 42% to 30%. Paul attracts 8% of the vote, Bloomberg 6%.

Hillary Clinton leads Romney by five in a head-to-head match-up, but her lead grows to fourteen points with Bloomberg and Paul in the mix—Clinton 46% Romney 32% Bloomberg 7% Paul 7%.

In a McCain-Obama poll, the Democrat leads by five. That grows to seven points with the third party options—Obama 40% McCain 33% Paul 11% Bloomberg 5%.

The pair of third party candidates attract from 13% to 17% of Republicans in each match-up. They earn only 5% to 10% of the Democratic vote.

This is, of course, merely a snapshot in time and doesn’t necessarily reflect how things will pan out in November.

If Bloomberg does get into the race — by no means a given at this point — he is likely to do a lot better than he’s polling right now largely because he has the financial means to get his message, whatever it is, out to the public. That is going to pay off with increased support.

With Ron Paul, on the other hand, I think the numbers he’s polling here actually over state what he’d get in a General Election campaign. I get the sense that Ron Paul’s campaign peaked with the December money bombs. Except for finishing a distant second in Nevada, he hasn’t done better than fourth place in any contest yet and actually did worse in Florida than he’s done anywhere else. Oh, his core supporters will follow him to the gates of hell if necessary, but they aren’t going to be enough to get him more than maybe 3 or 4 percent of the vote in a heavily contested nationwide election with high turnout, which is what I expect we’ll see in November.

Of the two, the Republicans need to worry about Bloomberg far more than Paul at this point. Paul’s supporters aren’t going to vote for McCain anyway, so the fact that they might vote for Paul if he runs as an independent isn’t going to change things significantly. Bloomberg, on the other hand, has the potential to pull away large numbers of moderate independents that might otherwise vote for McCain.

  • Brad

    I don’t think that most of Paul’s supporters would show up to vote if he weren’t running in the first place.

    So I don’t think that he would pull a lot of votes away from the two party candidates as a third candidate, as much as he would have pulled non-voters in if he had received the nomination.


  • Phillip Rhodes

    Ron Paul as an Independent would hurt the Libertarian candidate more than anybody. Hopefully if Ron does not get the Republican nomination he will pursue the Libertarian nomination.

  • mketcher

    You left out Louisiana, where Dr. Paul also finished second (“unofficially” — and possibly first once the votes are properly counted). I can understand why you might have missed it — it was barely mentioned in the news media. He’s also expected to do well in Maine this weekend — perhaps take first. He’s survived all the media smear attempts (although they’ll probably be revived). He’s accumulated about $4 million this quarter, which is more than he’d accumulated during the first month of the last quarter, so you could say that his fundraising pace is much better this quarter than last.

    It should be an interesting election year. Don’t count out Dr. Paul. A lot can happen in six months, as we’ve seen in the last six months.

    At this point, Dr. Paul is more interested in accumulating delegates than popular vote. In many states, the number of delegates isn’t determined by how well a candidate does in the primaries, but how well he does in the caucuses. With a lot of foot soldiers, Dr. Paul can gradually accumulate more delegates, more high-profile endorsements, and more money — and go into the convention with some clout … especially if no one else has sufficient delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot. After the first ballot, most delegates will be free to vote on who that want. The Republican Party will be in utter chaos, which Ron Paul can take advantage of. On the other hand, if after Super Tuesday it looks like a shoo-in for McCain, Dr. Paul still has time to go third party.

    There are a lot of possible scenarios that could play themselves out.

    Dr. Paul and McCain are the two most hated people in the Republican Party. If it comes down to the two of them, a lot of the current non-Paul supporters will turn to him, as the only alternative to McCain. Or they’ll try to find someone else — but who is there in the Republican Party that will fit the bill?

    For a great satire on the president, the mainstream media, and the war on terror, see this YouTube music video from the international award-winning zombie musical feature film, “Song of the Dead.” ( stars horror movie veteran Reggie Bannister (Phantasm, Wishmaster, Bubba Ho-tep) as the president of the U.S. The filmmaker, Chip Gubera, is giving a share of his profits from DVD sales to the Ron Paul campaign. Go to:

  • Greg

    I second that about Louisiana. Once the shenanigans are dealt with, he may come out in first place (check the facts, there was some pretty shady dealings).

    I don’t care whether he wins. I want him in the debates to remind everyone that (real) conservatism and libertarianism are intrinsically linked. I want him to run all the way to the electoral college to embarrass Republicans who have abandoned their libertarian roots. Since Goldwater and Reagan are dead and libero-conservatives have turned yellow under the pressure of neoconservatives, what choice do we have in this election? Liberal right-wingers vs. liberal left-wingers? Ugh.

    One more thought: Goldwater lost by a landslide, but he changed the Republican party until…well, very recently. Paul’s exposure could propel a better, more articulate, handsomer libertarian to run on the Republican ticket next go-round. I think that’s worth it.

  • Web Smith

    If Bloomberg runs, the intent will be to hurt someone and it will be because he was told to.

    The Chairman of the Board at Time Warner, Richard Parsons, is the grandson of a grounds keeper on the Rockefeller estate. Richard worked for Nelson while Nelson was governor and Vice President and was appointed to TW’s board by a Rockefeller. Besides meeting Rudy Giuliani, who later became mayor of NYC, while in D.C., Richard worked on the transition committees for Gov Switzer and Bloomberg. This is another way of saying that the Rockefellers’ objectives were entrenched. The Rockefellers are, of course, major share holders of the Federal Reserve Bank.

    Given Rudy’s half hearted run for the Presidency and the fact that the Clintons have been known to buddy up to the Rockefellers, who candidacy do you suspect that Bloomberg might be intended to spoil?

  • Greg

    bah, Nader’s already formed his exploratory committee. I’d love to see 5 choices on the ballot come november, for no other reason than if they made a decent showing, we could have the first election where no one got enough delegates (pipe dream, i know, but fuck it)

  • Guesswhotoo6

    Bloomberg will enter the race when Dr Paul gets closer to the nomination. This race likely has nothing to do with which party anymore. It is all about maintaining the chain of power and preserving the trillion plus dollars cash flows per year to all the friends and associates of the NeoCons and bankers far and wide. The plans to expand the markets to Canada and Mexico via the NAU must continue irrespective of party. The only wrench in the works is the humble Dr Paul, whose truth can mobilize an army of voters to reverse all these plans. This is a fight of epic proportions and has just begun, here and elsewhere. Super Tuesday here we come! Go Ron Go 2008!