People familiar with the discussions told CNBC that Bloomberg, 77, has privately signalled he’s “still looking at” running for president, but people close to him say that the only way he could even go down that path is if Biden’s fortunes suffer so much that he drops out before or during the early stages of the primaries.
“I think it’s something he wants. He has not been shy about that,” a Bloomberg ally familiar with the talks told CNBC. “Nothing can happen unless Biden drops out, and that’s not happening anytime soon,” this person added.
“He’s like everyone else. They can’t get it out of their system,” said a banking executive who has known Bloomberg for decades. “Bloomberg is in if Biden is out,” said another New York billionaire with ties to Bloomberg.
The news comes as the latest Quinnipiac University poll published Monday shows Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden competing for the top spot among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, with the Massachusets senator leading Biden 30 per cent to 27 per cent.
In terms of the most electable candidate, the poll suggests that voters still view Biden as the most solid contender, with 48 per cent saying he is the likeliest to defeat US President Donald Trump in the upcoming election. Nonetheless, Warren has impressively improved in this category as well, more than doubling her August result of 9 per cent with a double-digit 21 per cent of voters, ready to place their bets on Warren, and no other candidates making it into the double digits.