Bloomberg considering third-party run for president: report
© Greg Nash
He has reportedly set a final deadline of early March and has asked his aides to create a roadmap for his potential bid. Those efforts include research into state-specific rules on how to appear on presidential ballots and a "detailed study of past third-party bids," the report says. 
If Bloomberg were to run, one plan would have him give a "series of detailed policy speeches" and hit the airwaves with an aggressive push to boost his name recognition and frame him as a "technocratic problem-solver and self-made businessman who understands the economy and who built a bipartisan administration in New York." 
Ed Rendell, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told the Times that he'd "take a look" at backing Bloomberg in that hypothetical situation. 
The pledge to spend $1 billion of his fortune could upend the race and potentially pit two of the wealthiest candidates in modern times against each other.
Trump, also a billionaire, has said he's self-funding his campaign and would be willing to aggressively ramp up the spending. But so far, that hasn't been necessary as he's received donations without solicitation and has dominated most polls without much spending. 
Morning Consult tested a Bloomberg third-party bid against Clinton and Trump in a poll this week. 
It showed Trump with 37 percent, Clinton with 36 percent, and Bloomberg with 13 percent. 
The former New York City mayor was most popular with independents, winning 18 percent of that group, but only 8 percent of both Republicans and Democrats. 
- Updated at 1:20 p.m.