Michael Bloomberg Mulls White House Run

While nothing is definite yet, the moves that Bloomberg and his people are making indicate that he is seriously considering that third-party bid. After the New Hampshire primary, Bloomberg intends to do another poll to see whether there's room for him in the race, according to two people whom the Times describes as "familiar with his intentions".

Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg speaks during the opening of the Amazon Fashion Studio in the Brooklyn borough of New York, October 18, 2013.

The report states that Bloomberg, 73, is galled by the rise of Donald Trump in the polls for the GOP nomination, and is concerned about Hillary Clinton's challenge from Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination. They were not authorized to publicly discuss his efforts and spoke on condition of anonymity. The ex-mayor would strongly consider running if the general election looked like it could come down to Sanders and Trump or Texas Sen. Like Trump, Bloomberg started as a Democrat, and has been a Republican and an Independent.

Rumors about a Bloomberg campaign have swirled for years, most prominently when he wound down his third term as mayor of NY.

"I think there is no question he would be hurting the Democrats more than the Republicans", Horn said.

But his possible candidacy also illustrates the volatility of a presidential race that could be thrown into further turmoil by a wild-card candidate like Bloomberg.

Because of deadlines to get on a general-election ballot, he will make a decision one way or another by March, sources close to the former NY mayor told NPR and WNYC.

Sanders, Clinton's chief rival, has recently surged in polling in key early voting states Iowa and New Hampshire.

The very fact that Bloomberg is even exploring a run is bad news for Clinton, who has struggled to live up to her billing as the heir apparent to President Obama. He waited until November to endorse President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012, citing climate change in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. The last independent candidate, Ross Perot in 1992, was the most successful in history, winning 18.9% of the vote, but no electoral college votes.

An adviser said Mr. Bloomberg believes voters want "a nonideological, bipartisan, results-oriented vision".

The New York Times went live Saturday morning with a storythat isn't really a surprise to those closely follow politics, but that has the possibility of shaking up the presidential race. On the national stage, he is best-known for pushing liberal policies, such as gun control and environmentalism.

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