Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has not yet become an official candidate to be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. But he did file paperwork Friday to be on the ballot in the Alabama primary.
The 77-year-old Bloomberg, who served three terms as the chief executive of America’s largest city, would join a still-crowded field fighting to be on the top of the party’s ticket 51 weeks from now. There are still more than 20 Democratic candidates crisscrossing the country and hoping they will be the one who earns the nomination by the time of the party’s national convention in July.
After opting against a run earlier this year, Bloomberg reportedly began reconsidering, according to media reports within the last month.
While he’s by no stretch a front runner, bettors have given the multi-billionaire media magnate shorter odds than many of the established candidates.
At British oddsmaker Ladbrokes, Bloomberg is currently listed at 16-1. That puts him behind favorite US Sen. Elizabeth Warren (7-4), former Vice President Joe Biden (7-2), US Sen. Bernie Sanders (6-1), and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg (6-1) but ahead of such entrants as US Sens. Amy Klobuchar (50-1), Kamala Harris (50-1), and Cory Booker (100-1).
At Ladbrokes, Bloomberg is tied for the fifth choice with 2016 candidate Hilary Clinton. While rumors have swirled recently about Clinton considering another run, she, too, is not yet a formal candidate.
No US sports betting market currently allows political betting. However, PredictIt, a political betting exchange site open in the States, currently has Bloomberg shares trading at 9 cents, which also makes him the fifth choice.
His shares were at 3 cents last week before jumping to 12 cents Thursday when reports first surfaced of his reported run.
Warren is PredictIt’s front runner as well, with her shares trading at 30 cents.
Alabama’s primary will take place on March 3 as part of the Super Tuesday primary. The state is one of 14 that will hold primaries on that day. However, it is the state with the earliest filing deadline, which was Friday. That is primarily why Bloomberg filed there first.
New Hampshire, which is recognized as the first presidential primary in the country, has its filing deadline set for this Friday. That election will take place on Feb. 11. The first event will be the Feb. 3 Iowa caucus, which does not have a filing deadline.
Michigan’s Secretary of State announced on Friday that Bloomberg will appear on that state’s ballot for its March 10 primary. However, Bloomberg could request to withdraw by Dec. 13.
Why Bloomberg May Run?
Bloomberg has not commented publicly about his filing or whether he indeed plans to run. However, a top aide, in a series of tweets, outlined a vision for why Bloomberg may run. Howard Wolfson, a former New York deputy mayor who serves on Bloomberg’s foundation, said that his boss believes President Donald Trump represents an unprecedented threat to the country.
He added that Bloomberg would be able “to take the fight to Trump and win” the election.
If Mike runs, he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch, and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist,” Wolfson posted.
However, at least one potential competitor raised skepticism about Bloomberg’s entry. Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Klobuchar said she respected his stances on such issues as gun control and environmental concerns. But she added that the current crop of candidates have worked hard and earned endorsements, respect, and critical campaign support from across the country.
“I’m looking forward to debating Mayor Bloomberg about that, but not if he just comes in and his whole purpose is to say the rest of the field isn’t good enough,” she told Jake Tapper.