Archive for January 16th, 2008

by Pete Talbot

Although billionaire Michael Bloomberg denies it, it’s looking more-and-more like he’s going to make a run for President. What does that mean for Montana?

Another billionaire Independent (well actually, Reform Party, but you get my drift) helped hand Montana to Bill Clinton in 1992. Clinton received 37.6%, George Sr. had 35.1% and Ross Perot got a whopping 26.1%.

The pundits said that Perot stripped votes from both Clinton and Bush here in Montana, but he stripped more from Bush.

The pollsters say that Independents make up about 30% of the voters in Big Sky Country. In most cases, in a race between a Democrat and a Republican, whoever gets the majority of the Independents wins the election. And in a three-way race, a strong Independent candidate can radically change the outcome of an election.

I suppose a lot of it will have to do with whom each party nominates. So, you have to figure in which of the tier one Democrats (Clinton, Obama, Edwards) and tier one Republicans (Romney, McCain, Huckabee) will appeal most to Montana voters. (I think Giuliani is toast.)

But I still have to ask — will Bloomberg play as well in Big Sky Country as Perot? Would he strip more votes from the GOP or the Dems? What say you?

Update — Apparently not everyone shares my view that Rudy is toast.  This from New York magazine columnist John Heilemann on Michigan’s Republican primary:

“The real winner last night wasn’t any of these guys, however. The real winner was Rudy Giuliani, whose strategy of essentially blowing off the first month of the nominating process now seems to have a whiff of (mad) genius about it. Giuliani, to be sure, has seemed off-kilter the past few weeks, lurching from event to event, spouting themeless bromides and adopting a posture of Alfred E. Neuman–esque what-me-worryism …

Yet now the Republican field is exactly where Rudy’s people believed (hoped, prayed) it would be at this point: in utter disarray. If he wins in Florida, where he’s essentially been living, basking in the warm sunshine and building up his firewall, while his rivals have frozen their asses off in Iowa and New Hampshire, he will be in the catbird seat.”

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