Bloomberg, McKinney, and Paul

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An independent presidential run by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg now looks like a near-certainty.

For Bloomberg to achieve 270 electoral votes in November, he would essentially have to supplant the Democratic nominee. Bloomberg’s strength would come in states like Democratic-leaning California and New York, not the GOP-dominated states of the South and West. That means creating a two-way contest with the Democratic ticket essentially pushed into a position of irrelevance — either that, or an election that could be decided in the House of Representatives.

Hmm, Bloomberg would certainly pull lots of potential Republican votes too, so I’m unclear on why the Democratic candidate would be irrelevant. But with a major third party candidate, the entire dynamics of the election would change. It would no longer be the tiresome ritual of two parties mud-slinging at each other.

If you then factor in a probable Green Party run by Cynthia McKinney and quite possible third party run by Ron Paul (who has specifically not ruled it out), you get the Republican and Democratic candidates, Bloomberg who says he will run right down the middle, and highly visible third party runs on both the Right and the Left.

If this happens, it will be an election unlike any we’ve had. With five prominent candidates, triangulation and the usual political machinations would be nigh on impossible. Rather than the standard slime-the-other-side approach. Campaign strategies would become so convoluted that they’d look like the image to this post. Perhaps the thought of such convoluted tactics will inspire them to talk about the issues as a way of differentiating themselves from the other candidates. It could happen.