Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not file to run in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary before Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline.
The decision to not file in the Granite State’s Feb. 11 primary reinforces his expected strategy of not contesting the first four nominating races in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to focus instead on the slate of more than a dozen states competing in Super Tuesday on March 3.
Bloomberg’s name did not appear on a list of declared candidates on the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website after the deadline. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
He has thus far filed to run in the Democratic primaries in Alabama and Arkansas.
Skipping the four early states could be a big gamble for Bloomberg. Rudy Giuliani, his mayoral predecessor, adopted the same tactic during his 2008 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, only to drop out of the race before the end of January.
Yet Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman who built a financial data and media empire, still threatens to upend the 2020 primary race should he ultimately decide to formally launch a White House bid.
His behemoth war chest and centrist views could put him on a collision course with former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the leading moderates in the Democratic race, even as his wealth could also make him the target of claims from progressives that he is trying to buy his way into the election.
Bloomberg had previously said in March that he would not run for president, but speculation began to swirl that he would reconsider after Biden stumbled in a handful of polls and fell short of other front-runners in fundraising.
“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” Howard Wolfson, a close adviser to Bloomberg, said earlier this month.
Despite his virtually endless resources, Bloomberg would still face an uphill battle to clinch the Democratic Party’s nomination — his competitors have been canvassing and organizing across the country for months and national polling shows him in the low single digits.