Michael Bloomberg plans presidential bid as an independent

Will Michael Bloomberg Run as an Independent? It Could Happen
Will Michael Bloomberg Run as an Independent? It Could Happen

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York mayor, is taking steps toward an independent bid for the White House, according to The New York Times and would spend at least $1 billion of his fortune on the effort.

Bloomberg has set a deadline for making a final decision in early March, according to the New York Times.

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Bloomberg had said previously that he had no plans to enter the 2016 presidential fray. During an April 2014 appearance on NBC's Today, he said the answer was no, "plain and simple." But according to the New York Times report, the volatile 2016 campaign has changed his calculus.

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Bloomberg commissioned a poll last month to see how he might fair as an independent running against Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

This is not the first time that Bloomberg has flirted with a presidential run. Any move he makes is likely to roll the already tumultuous 2016 race.

Despite his vast resources, Bloomberg would face tough odds if he chose to enter the race. No independent candidate has ever been elected to the White House.