Michael Bloomberg isn't running for president after all. The former New York mayor ended his flirtation with an independent ticket by writing an editorial published today under the headline "The Risk I Will Not Take," Politico reports. "When I look at the data, it’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win," he writes. "I believe I could win a number of diverse states—but not enough to win the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the presidency." That means Bloomberg might have forced an Electoral College deadlock and thrown the election to Congress, where ruling Republicans would have likely chosen Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. "That is not a risk I can take in good conscience," he writes.
Bloomberg had assembled dozens of staff members and strategists to design a website, make TV ads, conduct polls, and establish campaign centers in North Carolina and Texas, the New York Times reports. He had all but chosen retired admiral and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen as his vice-presidential candidate. But 74-year-old Bloomberg didn't do well enough in polling. Still, his aides say he would have run if Trump was up against Bernie Sanders, two candidates whose views apparently alarmed Bloomberg. The former mayor also criticized Trump and Cruz in the editorial, saying Trump "appeals to our worst impulses" and Cruz "is no less divisive." (Here's how Bloomberg might have won the White House.)