Michael Bloomberg is not running for president, he announced this afternoon. “Uh, o....kay?” you might say in response, but all reports indicated that Bloomberg was seriously considering running for president. He even commissioned a consulting firm to produce maps outlining his path to the White House, which have now been obtained by the New York Times. What the firm came up with has less of a basis in reality than even the most absurd thing that has ever occurred on House of Cards.
What you see above is the electoral map drawn up in such a scenario where Bloomberg enters a race between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. This projection—which accounts for nearly half of states—has Bloomberg CRUSHING the two upstart candidates by hundreds of delegates. Like, maybe in this model planes carrying Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump collided in midair and the country turned to the comforting embrace of the creepy, old billionaire left standing?
Because otherwise, how do you explain any argument—as this map makes—that Michael Bloomberg would win states such as Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia? Has Bloomberg ever even been to Tennessee? The implication here is that Bernie Sanders can’t win over black voters, leaving a sizable portion of the Democratic base unaccounted for. But black voters have not warmed to Bernie Sanders even despite him having at least some history fighting for civil rights. On the other hand, Bloomberg, at the expense of his black citizens, ramped up stop-and-frisk to the point where it became a brand name, and further publicly defended the practice against its many critics. Surely, this policy initiative would have gone over great in the disenfranchised South.
The map for a Trump versus Hillary Clinton race is somewhat saner, but not even really:
This map at least acknowledges that Bloomberg would really have no shot of beating Clinton, even in a scenario where he somehow manages to fight the establishment Democrat to a draw in Florida. But still: Ohio? Michigan? Illinois? Arizona? Who in these states is voting for the ex-mayor of New York City? Polls show that Clinton is up by dozens of points in Ohio and even more in Michigan. Bloomberg would have provided what, exactly, to flip those numbers? An ability to connect with a factory worker in a broken-down town?
The answer, of course, is nothing, which is why Bloomberg isn’t running. In 1992, Ross Perot ran as a rich, bald third-party independent and managed to suck up 19 percent of the vote. But he won zero states, and the somewhat embattled yet otherwise popular enough Democrat named Clinton skated to victory. I hope Bloomberg saw these maps and burst out laughing.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org / images via New York Times