Despite meager NYC support, Mayor Bloomberg launches 'research effort' for White House run
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has quietly been polling and conducting a highly sophisticated voter analysis in all 50 states as he decides whether to launch an independent presidential bid, associates said Wednesday.
A source has told CNN's John King, that "Mayor Mike Bloomberg has asked his pollsters and other political advisors to assemble a vast database of information. Voter registration, who might vote for an independent, voter trends, what they call micro targeting of the polling places... They want all of this data together to analyze his potential chances." King is told that the analysis of that information has not yet begun. King also says that a final decision on a 2008 run is due the first week of March.
However, King reports that Bloomberg is less likely to run if "a unifying figure like Barack Obama" wins the Democratic nomination.
The news of the extensive coast-to-coast research effort comes one day after a poll revealed that residents of his own city would be reluctant to vote for the mayor.
The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey found that despite a popularity rating of 73 percent, Bloomberg could count on only 34 percent of New York City voters if he ran as an independent presidential candidate.
"It's a Democratic town. If he runs for president as an independent, New Yorkers will do what they usually do and vote Democratic," the polling institute's director Maurice Carroll told reporters.
"Look at a little history here. Two governors of New York became president. But only one mayor of New York has been elected to higher office," 19th century mayor John Hoffman who went on to become governor in the state capital Albany.
"Albany is a stepping stone on the way to the presidency. City Hall hasn't been. That doesn't say it can't be, but it hasn't been yet," Carroll said.
Fueled by his decision to leave the Republican party in June, speculation has been simmering that Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman turned politician, could launch an independent bid.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted between January 3 and 7, and questioned 1,162 New York City voters.
This video is from CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, broadcast January 9, 2008.
More at this AP link
(with wire reports)