- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 23, 2016

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is seriously considering launching an independent presidential campaign and could make a decision sometime in March, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN. 

Aides to the three-term mayor are examining ballot access issues, one source said. He refused to give specific details about what Mr. Bloomberg, 73 asked to be done. 

Mr. Bloomberg has also reportedly told his friends and associates that he would be willing to spend at least $1 billion of his own money on a presidential campaign, another source told Reuters. 

A source told CNN that Mr. Bloomberg sees the Republican and Democratic presidential races as becoming increasingly polarized, and neither fits Bloomberg’s views. But Mr. Bloomberg, who has flirted with Oval Office aspirations in the past, is serious about a possible candidacy, the source insisted.

The news of a possibly Bloomberg candidacy was first reported Saturday by the New York Times.

An unnamed adviser to Mr. Bloomberg told the Times the former mayor believes voters want “a non-ideological, bipartisan, results-oriented vision” that has not been offered in the 2016 election cycle by either political party.

He has given himself a March deadline for entering the race, a source said, after commissioning a poll in December to see how he would fare against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the current Republican and Democratic front-runners. 

No third-party candidate has ever claimed the White House 

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