WASHINGTON -- A close confidant of Michael Bloomberg told ABC News the former New York City mayor plans to make a decision on whether he will make an independent run for president in the first week of March.
His decision will be based in large part on the state of the Democratic and Republican primaries after the Super Tuesday contests on March 1, the confidant said.
If after Super Tuesday it looks like Bernie Sanders has a good chance of winning the Democratic primary and the Republicans seems likely to nominate either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, Bloomberg’s odds of running are at least 50-50, according to this long-time Bloomberg friend.
If, on the other hand, Hillary Clinton looks poised to win the Democratic nomination, the odds that Bloomberg will run drop to close to zero, the friend said.
Bloomberg has considered running as an independent before -- in fact, he took a look at it a few months ago -- but he has previously concluded the odds were stacked too high against an independent candidate. But he believes the prospects of a general election pitting Trump or Cruz against Sanders may present an historic opportunity for an independent to actually win, the confidant said. It would mean, essentially, that both parties have nominated candidates that are so extreme that an independent can break through.
It’s possible that neither the Republican nor Democratic primaries will be clear by Super Tuesday, but Bloomberg believes he must decide by the first week in March to be able to get on the ballot in all 50 states, the confidant said.