Bloomberg tests the water - but will he stand?

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire Mayor of New York, can't say it often enough: no, he is not positioning himself for an independent run at the White House. Funny then, that he keeps taking steps that seem to suggest otherwise, most recently eliciting research from all 50 states on his chances of winning.

Just as results from the first two nominating contests for the two establishment parties, Democrats and Republicans, flowed in from Iowa and New Hampshire, sources close to Mr Bloomberg revealed that he was spending millions discreetly polling voters across the country on how they might view him. It will be seen as just one more sign that whatever he may say publicly, Mr Bloomberg is at least still considering a dive into the 2008 contest for the presidency. The remarkable volatility of the race so far may encourage him to move forward.

On Monday, he attended a panel of centrist political grandees from both parties at the University of Oklahoma. Last year, he re-nounced his membership of the Republican Party, with which he is at odds on social issues such as gay rights, and established himself as an independent.

Sources say that though most of the polling data has been gathered, analysis of it has not yet begun. Questions he asks include the degree to which voters would prefer to see a long-time lawmaker take the White House versus outsiders with business pedigrees such as himself. He may also be wondering how far people will be fussed by his religion. Mr Bloomberg is Jewish.

"You have to look at how electorate breaks, how Democrats and Republicans vote, how independents vote," said Douglas Schoen, a former political strategist for the Mayor. "You have to know what the lay of the land is, you have to try to look at every available piece of data."

Mr Bloomberg, who has an estimated worth of about $11.5bn (£5.8bn) mostly drawn from the financial data and news service he founded, Bloomberg LP, has repeatedly said he intends serving out his second term as Mayor, then focusing on his considerable philanthropic efforts.

"I am not a candidate for being president of the United States," he said. "31 December, 2009, I'll have my last day at City Hall. On 1 January, 2010, I will go to the inauguration of my successor. On 2 January, 2010, I'll take my mother out to dinner for what will be her 101st birthday. Then a life of philanthropy I think is what is going to happen." A poll of New York City residents by Quinnipiac University this week offered mixed news. A small majority thought he would make a good president and thought he would run, but only 34 per cent said they would vote for him.

The process of getting on the ballot as an independent would kick off in Texas after early March. This gives him a few more weeks to ponder and rake through his data. With luck, the Republicans and Democrats will by then also have picked their own nominees, though that is not certain.

For those despairing of the bipartisan atmosphere of Washington, Mr Bloom-berg is an alluring alternative. It helps also that he has money of his own to run a full-blown campaign.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all