According to recent reports, Michael Bloomberg is considering a run for the White House as an independent. Many are drawing comparisons to another self-made billionaire who ran for office, Ross Perot, and his campaign against Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. What lessons were learned from this campaign 24 years ago?
It can be fairly difficult for an independent to have a fair chance at winning. Republicans and Democrats have undoubtedly control the elections, and many states make it difficult for independents to even make it onto the ballot.
Another issue? Although Bloomberg has seemingly unlimited financial resources to tap into for his campaign, time is not on his side. Getting onto ballots is not only difficult, but time-consuming for independents. For example, Texas is one of the states that requires candidates to apply for an independent status on the election ballot. Hopeful candidates must collect 80,000 valid signatures of independent voters who did not vote in the presidential primary on March 1st. These signatures cannot be collected until March 2nd, and must be submitted by May 9th. On top of these signatures, hopeful candidates must also submit 38 qualified presidentai electors by May 9th.
Like Trump, Bloomberg is willing to use his own resources, up to $1 billion according to sources, to finance his campaign. This would eliminate the need for him to waste time fundraising, however he still lacks the infrastructure needed to really gain momentum in his campaign.
Perhaps Bloomberg would focus on key states instead of attempting to run a 50-state campaign. After all, an independent would really only need to compete in about a dozen states that there could be a chance to win.
So how will Bloomberg’s campaign perform? If there truly is a “silent majority” looking for a middle of the road candidate, Bloomberg could have a chance. Bloomberg is known to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal, so he has the chance to draw in both Republican and Democrat voters.