We could have a legitimate 4-way race for President this coming fall. Think about it.
You'll have the Democratic Party nominee, the Republican Party nominee...that is certain. However, given the current buzz going around, we may now see a viable Independent and a Constitution/Libertarian Party candidate. Imagine this ballot...
- Dem Candidate (insert Clinton/Obama/Edwards here)
- GOP Candidate (insert Giuliani/Romney/McCain/Huckabee/Thompson here)
- Michael Bloomberg (Independent)
- Ron Paul (Constitution and/or Libertarian Party)
There is a good possibility that all of these candidates could snag 10% of the vote, especially with Bloomberg and Paul pulling at swing voters. Turnouts would be tremendous, and the winner would be whoever gets a plurality, but not a majority.
Bloomberg is as close to running as possible without having announced or formed an exploratory committee, and he has already committed up to $1 billion of his own money towards a presidential bid. Bloomberg, currently mayor of NYC, is a former Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent whose appeal is targeted at social liberals and fiscal conservatives.
Paul has already implied that he may look into going the 3rd Party route if he doesn't get the GOP nomination, and both the Constitution and Libertarian Parties have made overtures to Paul to run as their candidate. Considering his campaign has raised tons of money without having spent much of it, Paul might very well be positioning himself for a strong 3rd party run.
Now, consider the slight possibility that if John McCain wins the GOP nomination, Joe Lieberman might be his running mate (a bit out there, but possible), and the entire race is thrown into a whole other world of possibilities and uncertainty.
Can you imagine a 4-way race with non-mainstream candidates who are actually viable contenders for the White House? Folks, we may be sitting on the cusp of history.