Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York City is reportedly considering a late entry into the 2016 Presidential race running as an independent.
Sources told CNN that Bloomberg has advised three of his aides to quietly create a campaign strategy and conduct a poll to see how voters react to his name in the race. There are reports that Bloomberg has told his staff he plans on spending around $1 billion of his own money to finance his campaign.
Bloomberg’s decision comes as the race becomes increasingly polarized, with Trump and Cruz on the right and Clinton and Sanders on the left, Bloomberg believes voters are looking for a candidate who represents the middle ground.
This is not the first time that Bloomberg has flirted with running as a candidate. Just last month, he commissioned a poll to see how he would stack up against Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, however the results of this poll were not released. The source did however, acknowledge that the poll found he would take more Republican votes from Trump than Democratic votes from Sanders.
Bloomberg would certainly be a wildcard candidate thrown into the race. Socially, he supports many of the Democratic party’s policies, including most notably calling for stricter gun control laws, however he also has close ties to Wall Street and fiercely defends the financial industry.
Although the success of his campaign isn’t a certainty, one thing is for sure, this could make the remainder of the race much more interesting.
Editor’s Commentary: It woud be a miracle for Bloomberg to win as a third party candidate, but his enttry would siphon votes from one side or the other (a billion dollars would mean a substantial shift).
The question is who would stand to lose. Bloomberg was a lifelong democrate before he ran for Mayor of New York as a Republican. He is cast as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, so Bernie Sanders would certainly lose ground to him. On the other hand, democrats can label Trump and Bloomberg as billionaires who are buying their way in, and set up the contest thay way.
My own feeling is he would hurt the Democrats more, since so Republican thinks of Bloomberg as a conservative now.