Bloomberg Confirms He Is Considering Independent Presidential Bid in 2016

Amid rumors that he has been conducting polls to test the viability of a 2016 independent presidential bid, billionaire and former independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed in his own words on Tuesday that he is weighing a run for president.

Bloomberg told The Financial Times that he is “looking at all the options” regarding a 2016 presidential bid and called the rhetoric used by candidates in the race so far “distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters.

73-year-old Michael Bloomberg, the eighth wealthiest person in the world and an owner of his own eponymously-named media enterprise, is considered a threat to shake up the 2016 race if he were to run, as he could afford to run a serious marketing effort that might meet the Commission on Presidential Debates’ qualification requiring independent candidates to obtain 15 percent support in national polls.

[RELATED: Commission on Presidential Debates Preps for Possible Third-Party in 2016 Debates]

A New York Times report relying on anonymous sources noted that Bloomberg “has indicated to friends and allies that he would be willing to spend at least $1 billion of his fortune [on a campaign]” and that he told those associates that he would be most likely to run “if Republicans were to nominate Mr. Trump or Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a hard-line conservative, and Democrats chose Mr. Sanders.

Bloomberg reportedly commissioned polls in December that tested his candidacy against Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump and is set to conduct another round of polls after the final tally of New Hampshire’s primary results. His candidacy is expected to draw more support from Democrats than Republicans, particularly due to his outspoken stance on gun control.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Bloomberg said he will make his final decision by early March, at which point he would need to begin securing ballot access if he were to decide to run.

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