How Bloomberg Could Change Politics (’U.S. News & World Report’)



In a U.S. News & World Report opinion piece, Dartmouth’s Charles Wheelan ’88 writes about a possible presidential run by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“Both political parties have grown intellectually insipid,” writes Wheelan, a senior lecturer and policy fellow at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics. “The national political scene is screaming out for adult leadership. With all that in mind, here are some possibilities for how Bloomberg’s announcement may play out, ranging from most likely to most interesting.”

What is most likely, writes Wheelan, is that Bloomberg won’t run. “The Electoral College is just too daunting,” he says. “Yes, Bloomberg would be instantly popular with a large segment of moderate Americans. But any Democratic nominee would still win the true blue states; any Republican would win the deep red states (aided by Bloomberg’s New York pedigree and his support for gun regulations). There is no clear path to 270, the electoral magic number.”

What is unlikely and very dangerous, he writes, is that, “Michael Bloomberg runs for president and none of the three candidates wins a majority in the Electoral College. Per the 12th Amendment, the House of Representatives picks the winner, with each state delegation casting a single vote. The Republicans control a majority of the state delegations and would cast their votes for the Republican candidate, regardless of the popular vote. The new president would be Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or whatever extremist candidate motivated Michael Bloomberg to run in the first place.”

Read the full opinion piece, published 1/25/16 by U.S. News & World Report.

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