Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ultimately decided Monday not to throw his hat into the presidential race after he came to the conclusion his bid would hand businessman Donald Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz the White House. The announcement came in an op-ed titled “The Risk I Will Not Take” published on the site Bloomberg View, a vertical of a media conglomerate he owns.
“As the race stands now, with Republicans in charge of both Houses, there is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience,” he wrote Monday afternoon.
Bloomberg wrote that he was up for the challenge, but ultimately, the polls he commissioned concluded that he could not win the race if he entered as a third-party candidate.
“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,” he wrote, adding: “In a three-way race, it’s unlikely any candidate would win a majority of electoral votes, and then the power to choose the president would be taken out of the hands of the American people and thrown to Congress. The fact is, even if I were to receive the most popular votes and the most electoral votes, victory would be highly unlikely, because most members of Congress would vote for their party’s nominee. Party loyalists in Congress — not the American people or the Electoral College — would determine the next president.”
Earlier reports noted that Bloomberg gave himself a deadline of early March to decide whether to jump into the race, according to the New York Daily News. He commissioned a poll and a team of experts to help him make the decision.
Bloomberg told the Financial Times last month that he was appalled by the country’s current options for the White House. “I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg also considered running in 2008 and 2012, but did not formally enter those races.