NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, frequently mentioned as a potential independent candidate for president, doubts that an independent can win the White House.
The best-case scenario for an independent candidate in 2012 would be a tie in the Electoral College, Bloomberg said, in which case the election would then be decided in the House of Representatives, with each state delegation getting one vote.
"Party affiliation is so strong that ... you could get every independent vote (and) it would still not be a majority," he told a group of chief executives and policy-makers in Washington on Tuesday.
"Unless you get a majority, it goes to the House," where he said the majority party would win.
Bloomberg is a political independent after having been a member of both major parties. He considered running for president as an independent in 2008 but decided against it. He has repeatedly shot down speculation that he intends to campaign for the presidency in 2012.
A longtime Democrat, Bloomberg became a Republican to run for mayor in 2001. He was re-elected as a Republican in 2005 and ran as an independent, although with Republican backing, in 2009.
Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr.; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Bill Trott