The window to run for president in 2016 has not closed if former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to join the fray as an independent candidate.
A third-party run is not out of the realm of possibility, the media company owner confirmed Monday to the Financial Times. However, should Bloomberg take the plunge, he has state filing deadlines for voter signatures to consider. All 50 states have different cutoff dates and requirements. Depending on the state, an independent candidate could need as few as 1,000 petitions from residents, or as many as around 89,000 to appear on the November ballot, according to Ballotpedia. Two states — Colorado and Louisiana — accept filing fees in lieu of signatures.
For third-party candidates, the earliest deadline would be in Texas May 9 where presidential hopefuls are required to file a number of signatures equivalent to 1 percent of total votes cast in the state for president in the last election. To appear on the 2016 ballot, Bloomberg would need 79,939 petitions from state residents. If he does not make it on the Texas ballot, the state is one of the 43 states where Bloomberg could still receive votes as a write-in candidate, although it's a long shot.
The former New York City mayor has reportedly given himself until early March to decide whether to take the leap, according to the New York Daily News. He commissioned a poll to help determine whether to pursue the White House.
Throughout the campaign season, Bloomberg’s name has been floated as a potential presidential candidate, but it was not until last month that the New York Times reported that he was considering running. Saying he was appalled by the options currently in the race, Bloomberg confirmed to the Financial Times Monday he was contemplating launching a campaign for president. “I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg also mulled running in 2008 and 2012, but ultimately did not enter those races.