Former N.Y.C. mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg weighs third-party presidential run

By Ann Marie Awad   |   Jan. 23, 2016 at 3:24 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- irked by the candidacy of fellow New Yorker Donald Trump -- is considering his own bid for the White House as an Independent.

Bloomberg has toyed with running for president in the past, but as The New York Times reported Saturday, the tech mogul may see his opening thanks to the current campaign climate.

Bloomberg commissioned a poll in December to see how he would fare against Trump as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate. The Times reported he plans to commission another round of polling after the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, with March being his deadline for a decision on whether or not to enter the race. He has already indicated that he's willing to spend at least $1 billion of his own fortune on a campaign.

CNN reported a source close to Bloomberg indicated he would consider a run if Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas won the Republican nomination and Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., won the Democratic nomination. With a close race predicted between Cruz and Trump in Iowa and New Hampshire, along with Sanders' growing momentum in those states, this may be the opening Bloomberg was looking for.

The former Democrat switched parties in 2001 and won city hall shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In 2007, he abandoned the two party system and became an Independent.

Bloomberg's policies are a mixture of aggressively pro-business, pro-Wall Street policies that conservatives favor, along with socially liberal stances that please liberals. Bloomberg is the co-chair of Everytown for Gun Safety, a group of mayors that advocates for gun control measures. According to a Marist poll, when Bloomberg left office in 2013, his approval rating was at 49 percent.

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