Reporting Stan Brooks
NEW YORK (AP/1010 WINS) – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg often declines to endorse candidates for fear of picking the loser and angering the winner, but this year he campaigned aggressively for candidates in New York and elsewhere — with mixed results.
Overall, the billionaire Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent mayor backed more winners than losers in New York and across the nation, but he suffered some stinging losses Tuesday.
Bloomberg personally gave more than $102,000 to candidates who lost, and about $52,000 to winners. Those figures do not count contributions in a handful of races that have yet to be called.
The attorney general and comptroller candidates in New York for whom Bloomberg campaigned the hardest — by hosting fundraisers, stumping on the trail and dispatching top strategists and staff – both lost.
He traveled to California for a high-profile endorsement of Republican Meg Whitman, who lost the gubernatorial race there, and to Pennsylvania for an appearance with Democrat Joe Sestak, who was defeated in his U.S. Senate bid. The mayor also held a fundraiser for Sestak.
The mayor was defensive Wednesday when asked about his losses and admitted that some were disappointing.
“You’re not going to be winning all the time,” he said.
His wins included successfully backing Democrat Andrew Cuomo for New York governor; U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat in Nevada; Mark Kirk, a Republican congressman running for Senate in Illinois; and Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat in Colorado.
Bloomberg also campaigned for winning gubernatorial candidates John Hickenlooper, a Colorado Democrat, and Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee, an independent.
He held a fundraiser for Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett, a Democrat who lost, and campaigned with Maryland Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley, who won.
Marist College pollster Lee Miringoff said the losses won’t hurt Bloomberg, and supporting a mix of Democrats, Republicans and independents was smart.
“Clearly he was picking folks he thought would be better at governing, and when you come up short that’s disappointing, but he was picking and choosing in ways that will continue to establish his independent credentials,” Miringoff said.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)