Poll: Bloomberg candidacy would aid Obama in 2012

If New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) decided to wage an independent bid for president in 2012, he would end up aiding President Obama's reelection prospects, according to a new poll out Monday. 

Numbers from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling show Bloomberg polling at 11 percent in a hypothetical three-way matchup with Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R). Obama led the way with 44 percent to Romney's 38 percent. Another 7 percent were undecided.

Bloomberg, who flirted with an independent bid in 2008, cut into Romney's support among independents substantially. The mayor had the support of 22 percent of independents, compared to 32 percent who went for Romney. 

Bloomberg also costs Romney support among some Democrats. For the small number of Dems who favored the former governor over Obama, Romney loses half of them with Bloomberg in the race. 

In a two-way matchup between Obama and Romney, the president leads by just a single point — 47 percent to 46 percent. Without Bloomberg in the race, his supporters break for Romney over Obama — 50 percent to 21 percent. 

Bloomberg has repeatedly said he has no intention of running for president two years from now, but that hasn't stopped speculation that the billionaire might change his mind and opt for a self-funded run in 2012. 

The poll also found that just 19 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Bloomberg, compared to 38 percent who have an unfavorable view of the mayor.  

The poll also found Obama leading all other potential GOP 2012 hopefuls, but the president doesn't make it above 50 percent against anyone but former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who trails Obama 51 percent to 42 percent. 

Obama leads former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee 48 percent to 45 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 49 percent to 43 percent and Sen.-elect Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) 48 percent to 37 percent.