Given the tight race taking shape on the Democratic side, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is reportedly open to exploring an independent run for President. Bloomberg has flirted with the idea in recent election cycles, though this most recent news indicates he is taking steps to actively explore what an independent campaign might look like.
Report from the New York Times:
Michael R. Bloomberg has instructed advisers to draw up plans for a potential independent campaign in this year’s presidential race. His advisers and associates said he was galled by Donald J. Trump’s dominance of the Republican field, and troubled by Hillary Clinton’s stumbles and the rise of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on the Democratic side.
Mr. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, has in the past contemplated running for the White House on a third-party ticket, but always concluded he could not win. A confluence of unlikely events in the 2016 election, however, has given new impetus to his presidential aspirations.
Mr. Bloomberg, 73, has already taken concrete steps toward a possible campaign, and has indicated to friends and allies that he would be willing to spend at least $1 billion of his fortune on it, according to people briefed on his deliberations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss his plans. He has set a deadline for making a final decision in early March, the latest point at which advisers believe Mr. Bloomberg could enter the race and still qualify to appear as an independent candidate on the ballot in all 50 states.
The key here is the deadline which looms in March for gaining ballot access in all fifty states. In order for that to happen, Bloomberg would have to get an organization in place soon and immediately begin the process of gathering signatures and registering in each state in very short order. A Bloomberg run would most definitely hurt the Democratic nominee the most, especially given that Bloomberg sits on the far left side of the political spectrum. On issues such as gun control, he may be one of the most liberal candidates in the field given the amount of time and money he’s spent in recent years to push for greater gun restrictions at the state and local level around the country.