Brought to you by Campaign Finance Regulations: Bloomberg's Presidential Run

My book Freedomnomics goes through the impact of campaign finance regulations, but one of the bigger impacts is how it has worked to give wealthy candidates an advantage. I won't go through all the arguments here, but one simple point is that if Bloomberg spends $500 million or $1 billion as has been discussed, donation limits mean that there is no way that even the combined Democratic and Republican expenditures can match that.

Buoyed by the still unsettled field, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is growing increasingly enchanted with the idea of launching an independent presidential bid, and his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run.

On Sunday, the mayor will join Democratic and Republican elder statesmen at the University of Oklahoma in what the conveners are billing as an effort to pressure the major party candidates to renounce partisan gridlock.

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Prediction on Bloomberg

I think that Bloomberg's entry into the race will greatly damage Republicans. It is true that Bloomberg is liberal and would surely be more likely to draw votes from the Democratic presidential candidate, but I think that view is too narrow. Bloomberg has recently indicated that he thinks that the country is going in the wrong direction and that things are getting worse. Personally, I don't see how someone who has actually looked at the economic numbers can claim that, but what I think all this means is that Bloomberg will be spending say $500 million on television ads saying how bad things are. Bloomberg might not get many votes (the ideal state for Democrats), but he may be able to depress voters in enough key states to push down the Republican vote. There is no way that the Republicans can raise enough money to compete with this message beging put out by Bloomberg, let alone with what Bloomberg and the Dems will be putting out together. I hope that I am wrong. Overall, however, I think that this means that a higher premium than usual is going to be placed on a candidate who can effectively communicate his positions and someone who comes across as very positive. This probably pushes me to support Fred Thompson even more strongly than I alread do.

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