The Backseat Winner in NH: Bloomberg
His 'itch' to run reportedly increased with Clinton's poor showing
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2016 12:25 PM CST
Michael Bloomberg is seen at UN headquarters.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(Newser) – The New Hampshire primary may have boosted the prospects of a politician who wasn't even on the ballot: Michael Bloomberg. Stories about a possible run have been circulating for a while, and the victories by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have only ramped up speculation. Bloomberg is "itching to do it," an anonymous confidant tells the New York Post. The former New York City mayor is reportedly unlikely to run if Hillary Clinton is the nominee, but she got trounced by 21 points. "There's a big opening in the middle of the electorate, and Bloomberg is on point in that space," a former John McCain adviser who's not working with Bloomberg tells the Wall Street Journal. A Sanders-Trump race "would open a path for an independent candidate."

On Monday, Bloomberg told the Financial Times he was "looking at all the options" and found "the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters." He added he'd probably announce by early March. Aides say the results of Super Tuesday on March 1 will help him make his decision. But even if Bloomberg does run, one professor says he'll have a tough go. "It still is difficult to come in from out of the blue and get the traction you need, even when things are really seemingly divisive and there's a great deal of disenchantment, even when you're a billionaire," he says. The Republican National Committee believes Bloomberg would steal votes from the Democratic candidate, notes CNN. The DNC's chair says Bloomberg's priorities are "well cared-for."