Bloomberg Flirting with Presidential Run: What This Means for Clinton and Trump

The former Mayor of New York Mike Bloomberg is considering a bid for the 2016 Presidential Race. This isn’t surprising, The Republican politician flirted with a third party presidential bid during the 2008 and 2012 election cycles. Each time Bloomberg publically announced his consideration for a campaign before backing off.

This weekend, Bloomberg announced he commissioned a poll “after watching the meteoric rise of political newcomer Trump.” The poll’s findings were not made public, which points to the consideration as a publicity stunt testing how strong the Bloomberg brand resonates with voters.

Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Michael Bloomberg represent the upper echelon of New York City politics and business.  As a result, it would be in the best interest for both Clinton and Trump to not have Bloomberg run in the election as a third party candidate. But, the main reason neither Clinton nor Trump would want Bloomberg to run in the general election is branding.

What Hillary Clinton Needs to Do

Hillary Clinton represents the moderate base of Democratic voters that are pro-Planned Parenthood, pro-gay rights, and anti-guns. All moderate Democratic platforms. Bloomberg’s platforms have a lot of crossover with Clinton, as he’s said in a speech: “I’m pro-choice. I’m pro-gay rights. I’m pro-immigration. I’m against guns. I believe in Darwin.”

Clinton’s campaign brands her as the only voice of these moderate Democratic platforms in a general election. With Bloomberg in the race, it’s harder for her to establish her voice as the only voice. For Clinton to succeed Obama as the establishment Democratic Candidate, she needs as much support as possible for her brand to individualize her policies.

Clinton needs to ensure her preference over Bloomberg by clamping down on the support in New York City. Most people familiar with Bloomberg live in and around the city, and if Clinton gets the necessary donors and support from that voting base, then Bloomberg is less likely to run.

What Donald Trump Needs to Do

Donald Trump’s campaign has similar problems with Bloomberg as Clinton, with a slight difference. The main problem Trump’s campaign has with Bloomberg is also with branding. Both are very wealthy New Yorkers, with Bloomberg being worth $41 billion and Trump being worth $4.5 billion each with a miniature empire of real estate and investments.

Each can claim they are the residential billionaire to replace Obama, however, Trump has an easier time branding himself apart from Bloomberg. The brand that Trump wins on is not just as a billionaire, but as a non-politician, and as a Washington outsider. Bloomberg cannot claim this important branding fact that’s driving the Trump campaign.

What Donald Trump needs to do is continue branding himself as an outsider non-politician. In the event Bloomberg runs as a third party nominee, Trump can point to his lack of political experience as a way to change Washington.

Roman Temkin is a New York based Real Estate developer and is wondering what Clinton and Trump will do this election year.

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