Montana and Bloomberg

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.”


  1. I don’t know enough about Bloomberg to say, but it seems to me that if Ron Paul ran as an independent he’d pull a decent chunk of MT voters.

  2. FG Hock

    You’re nuts. Bloomberg is a New York Jew. Nobody in Montana will vote for him.

  3. Widowmaker

    I’d say Bloomberg wouldn’t do much to Montana. His current civil suits are example of why. Bloomberg is so against the culture of Montana, and much of America, that he doesn’t care who he slanders, libels, lies and trashes. I highly doubt Montana voters would ever vote for a candidate that would commit a crime to try and take a persons 2nd amendment away. Bloomberg belongs in a courtroom (which is where he has been all week in a civil case) and not on Montana’s ballots.

  4. petetalbot

    I’ll be charitable here and assume you’re using “Jew” as a modifier, not as a derogatory term, just like folks use “Mormon” as a modifier for Romney. I guess it’s OK to mention a candidate’s religion when you’re describing their base, or lack of it. Certainly the Christian Right isn’t concerned about putting religion front-and-center. I like to think that most Montanans will look at a candidate’s character and issues instead of their religion.

    That being said, here are a couple things I believe Bloomberg has going for him — he’s a billionaire and that doesn’t hurt when building an campaign organization.

    Also, as the economy falters, and that could be putting it mildly, a guy with perceived, savvy business skills could be appealing. As the economy was tanking in the early Nineties, both Perot and Clinton got a boost over Bush Sr. on this issue.

    Finally, someone who is considered outside party politics and not under the thumb of special interests might play well in Montana.

    I’ll concede one thing, though, I could be “nuts.”

    And Chris, Ron Paul may pull a decent chunk of voters, especially if he runs as an Independent. He, too, could be a spoiler — mostly for the Republicans but maybe a few disenfranchised Democrats. If he runs as a Libertarian, I think he’ll get spanked. This isn’t Alaska. Traditionally in Montana, Libertarians get less than 5% of the vote.

    If both Ron Paul and Michael Bloomberg are on the fall ballot, it could be really interesting.

    And Widowmaker, it appears you’re not a big fan of Bloomberg. Maybe I don’t quite have the pulse of Montana voters. Wouldn’t be the first time. However, let’s see who else weighs in and what they have to say.

  5. Binky Griptight

    Bloomberg is media-savvy, Wall Street friendly, and not afraid to take money from both trial lawyers and (mafioso?) unions. Along with his billions, that’s a powerful war-chest to buy lots of TV commercials in Montana and elsewhere.

    I think it depends on who he runs against. If the Republican nominee is McCain, then I think Bloomberg won’t run. They both appeal to the maverick, don’t-tell-me-what-the-party-wants, pro-immigrant, relatively socially liberal constituency. But, against Huckabee, who solidly undermines the Republican machine, then Bloomberg looks mighty attractive to many East Coast Republicans.

  6. FG Hock

    “I’ll be charitable here and assume you’re using “Jew” as a modifier, not as a derogatory term…”

    I am using “Jew” as proper noun, not as a “modifier,” (this comment has been edited by jhwygirl)

    “I like to think that most Montanans will look at a candidate’s character and issues instead of their religion.”

    1. Why would you like to think that? A man’s religion is part of his character, and it is very often a serious issue in his life.

    2. (This comment has been edited by jhwygirl)

    jhwygirl: I will be charitable and remind you that we do not tolerate uncivil discourse. You are in our home, FG. If you can’t abide by that simple rule, don’t come back.

    It is also fair to note that Pete has been far more tolerant that I.

  7. petetalbot

    You got me there, FG. Should have used ‘his/her’ instead of ‘their’ or maybe substituted ‘the’ for ‘a’ before ‘candidate’s’ and put the apostrophe after the ‘s.’ Sometimes my mind and my fingers aren’t always in sync.

    You have to admit, though, that “New York Jew” has the potential to raise a red flag.

    And when I look at the candidates’ character, I seldom look at their religion, unless a candidate makes a big point of it. I’m a huge fan of church/state separation. I’m hoping that other Montanans have that in common with me.

  8. I agree, Pete – the use of the term “Jew” does seem to be used in a derogatory manner.

    I can’t imagine using that word face-to-face with someone, thus that opinion.

  9. Jedediah Redman

    RoboCop is a real living, breathing censor over here…

  10. Jedediah Redman

    I for one would like to go on record as being damned thankful to have hall monitors available to interpose themselves between me and words and thoughts with which they take issue.
    As Leonard Bruce was wont to say Words are far more dangerous than weapons

  11. Uncivil discourse quickly becomes about the words rather than the thoughts they mask. We’re all about open discussion here.

    I wasn’t ‘censoring’ any idea Jedediah – I was censoring name-calling, not thoughts or ideas.

    If I was censoring thoughts or ideas, the whole thing would have been wiped out.

    Just so you know.

  12. I for one would like to go on record as being damned thankful to have hall monitors available here to keep a handle on the civil discourse. I love disagreements; it has often been the best way for me to form my own opinions on issues by seeing others discuss it out. But I hate rude behavior and name calling, especially for no real reason other than that one “can” from the anonymity of a keyboard.

  13. Jedediah Redman

    As I said:
    I was damned glad you were here to protect me from the words you felt would be damaging to my soul?–intellect?–morals?–aw, heck, lets just leave it at that I was so damned glad you were here.

    As Nancy Reagan used to tell us about drugs–lets just let the hall monitor protect us–from naughty words; but not from any naughty ideas, of course…

  14. goof houlihan

    I have no religious test for candidacy. I’d vote for Bloomberg in pretty much exactly the scenario Binky described, believing him to be a better choice that the socialists or Huckleberry.

    And never having been censored, not even close, can’t say I mind having people here to keep it civil. There’s a poster or two who tends to go over the top, and they’re willing to call them out, even on their side of the aisle.

  15. Just curious, Goof–which Democratic candidate do you consider to be one of the “socialists”? Edwards? Clinton? Obama? All of the above?

    I’ve said this off site, but I’d love to see Michael Bloomberg run this year. I’d also like to see Ron Paul break away and run as a Libertarian. (Though, believe me, he’s no Libertarian. He’s a theocrat.) If this happens, and a lackluster candidate* is running on the other side of the aisle, I think Republican voters will be divided and a Democratic win is all but guaranteed in November. Call me partisan, fine, but I’d also like to see a wide-open race because I’m sick and tired of a two-party system. Nearly every other democracy in the world has a multi-party system. Why can’t we?

    Besides, I’ll take a New York Jew any day over a Montana bigot.

    *I’ll put money on McCain not getting the nomination.

  16. jhwygirl

    Jed – it wasn’t to protect your soul, your intellect, your morals – it was to ensure a free flow of debate.

    Don’t like it? Don’t come back. Like I said – it’s our house….and I wouldn’t go into your house and call you names. I’d surely debate you, but I wouldn’t resort to rude behavior.

  17. Jedediah Redman

    “Don’t like it? Don’t come back. Like I said – it’s our house….and I wouldn’t go into your house and call you names. I’d surely debate you, but I wouldn’t resort to rude behavior.”

    As I have said, that is type of response I expected from a Reagan Democrat.
    Had it been done at an address by the decider you would have puffed up like a blowfish–and probably have written a commentary about it; but here the best you could do was tell that if I didn’t like it I could leave.

    Reminiscent of the behavior of the anti-freespeech reactionaries at Berkeley in the sixties.

    A real leftist response, I must say..!

  18. OK – now you’ve gone and insulted me…and THAT I’ve been very specific with you about.

    Like I said, it’s our house.

    You are rude. It isn’t the first, but it will be the last – for a while at least.

    Got more to say, you can hurl away at jhwygirl at hotmail

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