AP: Bloomberg to gauge support nationwide

January 9, 2008 3:18:41 PM PST
Associates of Mayor Michael Bloomberg say he's about to embark on a new phase of exploration for a potential independent presidential campaign, including detailed polling and a highly sophisticated voter analysis in all 50 states. The data collection quietly started months ago, and when the analysis begins shortly, it will provide Bloomberg with the information to decide whether to launch a White House bid.

The scope of the research, details of which were revealed to The Associated Press, shows how seriously Bloomberg is considering running for president, despite his denials.

The coast-to-coast research effort shows that Bloomberg is willing to dig deep into his wallet simply to gauge his chances of winning and lining up the proper support network along the way.

Doug Schoen, who spearheaded Bloomberg's voter database efforts, known as microtargeting, for his two mayoral campaigns, said "they want a hard-headed sense of their chances."

Bloomberg's spokesman Stu Loeser declined to comment.