Sunday, July 27, 2008


I did a bad job of keeping this blog up to date, but I plan to write regularly on my new blog Open Strategy.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Although he isn't going to run, I think it wouldn't have been crazy for him to run. Yes, he is a short Jewish Billionaire New Yorker. However, four factors would really help him: the large independent base in the country, economic troubles, his economic and managerial experience, and the divisive primaries.

The plausibility of an independent win is suverely underestimated. Perot, who both dropped out of the race and has a much worse resume than Bloomberg, at one point led in the polls and finished the presidential election in 92 with roughly 20 % of the vote. Unity 08 would also get him on the ballot.

Secondly, Bloomberg's campaign strategy would center chiefly on the economy. In US elections, the economy tends to be the first and most important issue, especially in economic downturns. He should plan to focus on the economic concerns of voters, to highlight Mayor Bloomberg’s executive experience on managing economic issues in both the private and public sector, and to contrast this strong record with the weaker economic records of Senator Obama and Senator McCain.

Recent polling data shows the extent to which Americans are displeased with the current state of the country and the economy. According to an AP Poll taken in February, 71% of voters are dissatisfied with the state of the country. By a margin of almost 15 percent, voters cited the economy as the most important problem facing the country today according to a CBS News/NY Times Poll from late February. Not only are voters dissatisfied and worried mainly about the economy, they also strongly disapprove of the job both parties are doing. 74 % of voters disapprove of Congress (Democratic) and 62% of Bush (Republican). In short, American’s are frustrated with Washington and are mainly concerned with the economy.

Although a focus on the economy appeals broadly to American voters, economically vulnerable working and middle class voters will find this message particularly appealing. According to a Survey USA poll from 1/14/2008, voters with annual incomes below $40,000 supported Bloomberg more than other voters in a hypothetical Obama-Bloomberg-McCain match up. These polling results align with the academic literature on third party support. Monson and Lacy (2002) find that third-party candidates tend to be young, male, lower in education, liberal on social issues and fiscally conservative. While Obama appeals to young voters, our campaign will target voters who fit the profile of traditional 3rd-party supporters. Moreover, the campaign could obtain old Perot campaign mailing lists to target these voters. With these groups, Bloomberg’s message will focus on a common sense, post-partisan approach to problems.

In addition to the state of the economy, the divisive primary contests of both parties also facilitate a Bloomberg victory. Democrats remain deeply divided between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. Assuming that Obama wins, we will aggressively court former Clinton supporters. Not only does Clinton espouse relatively moderate positions (consistent with her husband’s involvement in the Democratic Leadership Council), but Obama’s momentum and message did not persuade her former supporters. Bloomberg’s pro-choice, pro-education, pro-environment record will appeal to Clinton supporters. Moreover, Bloomberg’s progressive immigration policies tend to resonate with Hispanic voters, who have strongly supported Senator Clinton. Women, one of Clinton’s strongest demographic groups, will likely favor Bloomberg’s strong record on education and abortion rights. Finally, he could also target elderly voters who often question Senator Obama’s experience and support other candidates. In sum, we will target Senator Clinton’s supporters, especially Hispanics, women and voters over 45.

On the Republican side, McCain has struggled to win over the Republican base and convince fiscal conservatives about his command of economic matters. Since Mike Huckabee often attracts a large contingent of social conservatives with whom Bloomberg tends to be less popular, we will target former Romney supporters, who tend to be fiscally conservative and suspicious of McCain. Romney, like Bloomberg, is a businessman turned politician committed to balancing the budget and fiscal responsibility. As governor of Massachusetts however, he has a record of social liberalism that ultimately made him a less viable Republican candidate. Voters who preferred Romney in the primaries probably prioritize fiscal conservatism and would be likely to support Bloomberg in his presidential bid. Furthermore, fiscal conservatives who do not favor an extended occupation of Iraq will likely consider Bloomberg.

Long Time

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Huckabee on Leno

The huckster takes a shot at Romney, saying something close to ... people want a president who is like the person working next to them, rather than the person who lays them off

Hillary is on Letterman

Check out Hillary on Letterman. His first show in 8 weeks (becuase of the writers stike) opened with a John Kerry like attempt at humor by Hillary. It reminds me of the "she is human, we swear" theme that her campaign has touched on as of late. Like Maureen Dowd, I don't really buy it.

Bloomberg vs Obama

A recent NYTimes story suggests that Bloomberg would enter an Obama- Huckabee match up.

I doubt it.

Suppose Obama wins the democratic ticket. Since Obama's support comes partly from independents and moderate republicans (more here), Bloomberg would be facing a very tough contest against someone who would have the organization and momentum from the primaries (although beating the Clintons could take a crippling toll on Obama). Idealogically, Obama and Blomberg are pretty close (which has been driving many on the far left crazy).

If Bloomberg is really running to win (rather than to entertain his ego), an Obama democratic ticket would prevent him from running since Obama's message would leave little room for Bloomberg's pitch for a bi-partisan pragmatic approach to pressing problems.

The Primary Junkie

Here are some of my favorite websites for election commentary:

Must Reads
The Caucus: New York Times Political Blog
Although the caucus used to be less active than other political blogs, coverage has been picking up as of late. Caucus writers, especially Matt Bai, deliver insightful, uncluttered, and interesting analysis. This is the first site that I consult.

The Fix: Chris Cilizza's Politics Blog from the Washington Post
One of the best on the web, Cilizza's blog delivers great commentary.

The Stump: The New Republic's Blog

The New Republic offers some of the best analysis on both parties.

Marc Ambinder's Blog on The Atlantic
A fair and incisive blogger, Ambinder is another must read.

If you Have Time
The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008
Has more information but less insight than the above.
More cluttered than the rest, although I enjoy Democratic and Republican Blogs of Smith and Martin

Real Clear Politics
Gathers numerous articles and summerizes polling data

A Few Others
The Nation's Blog

Trailhead: From
Slate usually has an interesting article or two on the election