If you thought there weren't enough New York billionaires currently running for president, good news: former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering entering the race as an Independent Party candidate, according to a report in The New York Times.
The report says that Bloomberg has "instructed advisers" to start preparing for his possible entrance into the race, with the self-imposed deadline for his final decision to be sometime in the beginning of March. That time was chosen because if Bloomberg enters the race any later, he may have trouble getting on the ballot in all 50 states, which would make his long-shot run as an independent even more unlikely to be a success. Another reason for the wait, is that Bloomberg reportedly wants to wait and see who secures the Democratic nomination, as he thinks he can win against Bernie Sanders but not Hillary Clinton.
On the financial front, Bloomberg is reported to be prepared to spend as much as $1 billion of his own $36.5 billion fortune (which puts him well above even Donald Trump's financial weight class) on the campaign. With that money, Bloomberg's campaign (if it happens) will include "detailed policy speeches" in addition to a TV ad blitzkrieg that would seek to help win over voters to a candidate with strong Wall Street connections, as well as liberal views on hot issues like gun control and abortion.
Even with all of Bloomberg's evidently serious preliminary planning, his entering the race is still very much based on a variety of unlikely factors, the first on being Bernie Sanders somehow edging out a victory against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. But if that happens, and the Republicans nominate either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz (both of whom are deeply unpopular among independents and Democrats and would considered extreme underdogs in a head-to-head race), Bloomberg thinks he has a shot at victory. If he wins, he'll be the first independent candidate in American presidential electoral history to have done so.