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Giuliani and Clinton in Florida, Bloomberg a spoiler

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Election 2008
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Posted July 23, 2007 11:30 AM
The Swamp

by Mark Silva

In Florida, the first mega-state to hold a presidential preference primary this winter, Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) holds a commanding early lead over any of her rivals, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani holds a similar advantage among Republicans – while support for Arizona Sen. John McCain “fades’’ in the Sunshine State.

These are among the findings of a new Quinnipiac University Poll in Florida, which also adds a speculative note on the potential aspirations of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who recently became a political independent, fueling speculation about a presidential bid of his own.

With a possible general election contest between Giuliani and Clinton in Florida looking like a statistical tie more than a year away – with the Republican holding a 46-44 percentage edge among likely voters surveyed – it appears that Bloomberg, a former Republican, could deprive Giuliani of more votes as a “spoiler’’ in a three-way race. The statistical tie shifts in Clinton’s direction – with a 41-39 percent edge over Guiliani – with Bloomberg claiming 9 percent of those surveyed.

Of course, Bloomberg has no interest in spending some of his massive fortune on becoming a political spoiler and has said he will run for president when no one else on the planet it. Yet, that measure of potential support in an extremely important and potentially swing state suggests that the Democrats might like a Republican vote-getting spoiler like Bloomberg in the race. In 2000, the Democrats suffered from the spoiler-impact of Ralph Nader on the Florida ballot.

“The conventional wisdom may be that Mayor Bloomberg’s generally liberal approach to many issues would mean he would take more votes from Democrats and help the Republicans in a three-way race,’’ says Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute and a Florida-seasoned journalist. “At this point, that just isn’t so.’’

It’s also pretty early to be talking about general elections in Florida, home of 27 key electoral votes which put President Bush in the White House after a 36-day court battle over a disputed vote that ended with a contested 537-vote margin for Bush over former Vice President Al Gore.

So look at the primary results:

With a Jan. 29 primary scheduled – early than ever for Florida, and placing it near the start of a lineup dominated by much smaller states – a bellwether primary could be in the making. It will be viewed not only as the first big-state primary contest, but also as a measure of the viability of a candidate in a general election state that cannot be discounted in November 2008.

President Clinton carried the state once, in his reelection contest with Bob Dole. President Jimmy Carter carried it once, in his first election. And Lyndon Johnson carried it. Al Gore may well have carried it, had the Clinton administration not insisted on the forced removal of the young Cuban refugee, Elian Gonzales, from his Miami relatives’ home and his return to Cuba.

(The Democrats who carried the 2000 contest to the Supreme Court would tell you that Gore would have carried it in 2000, had the ballots been counted correctly – though independent newspaper reviews found in an examination of disputed ballots that Bush probably would have prevailed).

In sum: Southern Democrats have run best in the Sunshine State during the past half-century.

Among Democratic voters surveyed in Florida, Quinnipiac has found 36 percent supporting Clinton, compared with 14 percent each for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

Among Republicans surveyed, Quinnipiac found 30 percent supporting Giuliani, compared with 18 percent for Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee senator and television and film star considering a race and just 10 percent for the Republican once perceived as the party’s best bet, McCain, 10 percent – slightly better than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 9 percent.

“Florida is as good an example as there is regarding the demise of Sen. McCain’s fortunes,” Quinnipiac’s Brown says in a report out today. “His share of the Republican vote has dropped from 23 percent in February to 10 percent today. And while he used to defeat Democrats in mythical match-ups he now loses all of them.”

For more on the poll and other candidates, see the report.

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In the poll but not mentioned in the article: Republican frontrunner Rudi Giuliani bests Democrat Obama 47%-39% head on head.

And Obama is a whopping 22% behind Clinton among Democrats.

Not good news for the New Messiah.


Its an election, someone wins eventually, someone loses. You're really filled with a lot of hate, though, aren't you?

I've got it on good authority that "Bruce" has been hired by an RNC associate to smear Senator Obama, I hope this explains his foolish posts to everyone.

...and by the way "Bruce", polls don't mean squat this early in the election season but money raised does and the Democrats have out raised the Republic Party by $40 million....and counting.

Bloomberg could be a Republican spoiler? Not a chance.

Regardless of the strange politics in New York, Bloomberg is not well liked by Republicans outside of his state. In fact, he is disliked by many Republicans beyond the NY borders. So, yes, the possibility of his becoming a spoiler is entirely speculative.

John W,

Whatever happened to you being a "moderarte conservative"?

I would think a guy like Bloomberg would appeal to someone like you who claims that he doesn't like the current Neocon influence on the Republic Party?...hhmmm?

"Whatever happened to you being a "moderarte conservative"?"

No kidding. He's just another Republic mouthbreather.

In a poll but not mentioned:

An AP/Ipsos poll of Republicans released last week revealed that their current faves for the presidential nod stack up like this:

Mitt Romney: 11%
John McCain: 15%
Fred Thompson: 19%
Rudy Giuliani: 21%
None of the above: 25%

That's right - a plurality of Republican voters prefer none of their candidates for president. What a riot!


If the "Swamp" reporters think poll results are important enough to write about, they should give results from all the polls, not just selected ones from selected states.

They don't. But the "real clear politics" website does. And the average of the latest national polls shows Clinton 13.2% ahead in the Dem race, and Giuliani 5.2% ahead in the GOP race. See

John E:

I wasn't giving you my personal opinion about Bloomberg. I have no strong opinion about him one way or another because he seems generally uninterested in running for President. I was giving you the general impression of him held by many Republicans.

The general impression among Republicans is that Bloomberg became a Republican as a matter of opportunity, and not because he supports any particular aspect of the Republican ideology. He wasn't a "Republican" for very much of his life. He was a Democrat for all but four years of his political career. He turned to the Republican Party as a means of getting into the race for N.Y.C. mayor because the crowd of GOPers vying for the office was thinner than among Democrats. Once in office, he did little to distinguish himself from his Democratic Party tendencies. For example, he claimed to be a fiscal conservative, but then fixed the city's finances by raising taxes instead of cutting spending. Even former N.Y.C. Mayor Ed Koch calls Bloomberg a "Republicrat."

One of the other thing that bothers Republicans about Bloomberg is his extra-territorial crusade against gun manufacturers and dealers. He has an anti-gun stance that is not generally shared by rank and file Republicans. In fact, the State of Virginia passed legislation to criminalize the extra-territorial activities of his anti-gun "investigators." As a result of stuff like this, he is not considered to be anywhere near the mainstream of even non-neocon Republicans.

No kidding. He's just another Republic mouthbreather.

Posted by: weinerdog43 | July 23, 2007 3:53 PM

We don't get anywhere by calling each other names. Unlilke some people in the Swamp, I generally don't like the idea of dismissing people with labels. I have only given up on one individual here thus far - and it isn't you.

I realize you are generally hostile toward all Republicans, even non-neocons. I think your attitude is irrational - although I don't hope to persuade you to believe anything differently in the immediate future. I have already explained to you that there is a difference between conservatives and neo-cons, but you don't seem to care.

Fine, don't care. But, if you care to show a little class, then consider sticking to attacking ideas instead of people.

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