The Latest: Bloomberg would focus on Super Tuesday statesNovember 9, 2019 5:43am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Michael Bloomberg opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential bid (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

Michael Bloomberg plans to focus his likely presidential campaign on Super Tuesday states, skipping early voting states where other candidates have spent months meeting voters and building operations.

Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson says other candidates already have a big head start in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Wolfson says Bloomberg is "realistic" about where he can make up ground at this late stage.

That means Bloomberg would focus on the crush of states that vote on March 3, hoping to quickly amass delegates in California, Virginia and elsewhere. The billionaire's vast personal wealth means he can start advertising and building a campaign apparatus in those states while other candidates are focused on the early primary contests.

Bloomberg is expected to make a final decision on the 2020 campaign in the coming days.

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5:25 p.m.

Michael Bloomberg is taking new steps toward running for president in 2020. A staffer for the billionaire former New York mayor is in Alabama on Friday filling out paperwork that would allow Bloomberg to appear on the ballot in the state's March 3 Democratic primary.

Bloomberg has long flirted with launching a presidential campaign but has never gone so far as to register to appear on the ballot.

Bloomberg is making the move as he warns that the current field of Democratic presidential candidates isn't equipped to defeat President Donald Trump next year.

The 77-year-old has spent the past few weeks talking with prominent Democrats about the state of the Democratic campaign, expressing concerns about Joe Biden and the rise of liberal firebrand Elizabeth Warren.

Trump says there's "nobody" he'd "rather run against" than Bloomberg.

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4:15 p.m.

Michael Bloomberg has reached out to a senior Iowa Democrat in a sign that the billionaire former New York City mayor is planning a presidential campaign.

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack told The Associated Press that Bloomberg telephoned him Thursday evening as reports were emerging that he was weighing a campaign. Bloomberg left a voicemail indicating he plans to run.

Of Bloomberg's message, Vilsack said: "He is in."

In a follow-up email, Vilsack told the AP that Bloomberg said in the message that "it was true he is running."

Bloomberg aides say he has made calls to prominent Democrats but has not made a final decision to run for president.

Vilsack was the U.S. secretary of agriculture under President Barack Obama. Vilsack has been consulted by several of the more than one dozen Democrats campaigning in his state, which holds the leadoff caucuses in fewer than 90 days.

— By Associated Press writer Thomas Beaumont

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2:20 p.m.

Joe Biden says he welcomes the possibility of a Democratic presidential campaign from billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

Speaking to reporters Friday after filing for the New Hampshire presidential primary, the former vice president said, "Michael's a solid guy, and let's see where it goes. I have no problem with him getting in the race."

The former mayor of New York City is considering jumping into the race for the Democratic nomination after ruling out a run in March.

In a statement, a Bloomberg adviser said Thursday that the mayor is "increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned" to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.

Biden described Bloomberg as "an honorable guy" and added that Bloomberg has "put a lot of money behind causes I care a lot about."

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11:55 a.m.

Democratic Party leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire are welcoming billionaire Michael Bloomberg to join the 2020 presidential race.

Bloomberg is a former New York City mayor and opened the door on Thursday to a late-in-the-game run for the party's presidential nomination.

In a joint statement Friday, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley and Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price praised the "many qualified candidates" already in the race. But the two party leaders added they "are certain" voters in their states and other early states "are eager to ask Michael Bloomberg about his plans to move our states and our country forward."

Buckley and Price say they hope voters "will have that opportunity."

Bloomberg initially ruled out a 2020 run and has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race.

President Donald Trump says there's "nobody" he'd "rather run against" than Bloomberg.

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11:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is responding to a possible run by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying "There is nobody" he'd "rather run against."

Trump was responding to news that the billionaire Blomberg is opening the door to a 2020 White House bid.

Trump predicted Friday his fellow longtime New Yorker is "not going to do well" but suggested his candidacy would be most damaging to former Vice President Joe Biden, another moderate.

Trump says Bloomberg "doesn't have the magic to do well" and predicts Bloomberg will fail after spending "a lot of money."

Bloomberg initially ruled out a 2020 run and has not made a final decision on whether to jump into the race. Bloomberg warns the current field of Democratic candidates is ill equipped to defeat Trump next year.

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6:55 a.m.

Billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is opening the door to a 2020 presidential campaign.

Bloomberg announced earlier this year that he would not seek the Democratic nomination. But in a statement Thursday, his political adviser Howard Wolfson says Bloomberg is worried that the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates is "not well positioned" to defeat President Donald Trump.

A Bloomberg adviser says the former mayor has not made a final decision on whether to run. But he is expected to file to get on the ballot in Alabama's presidential primary.

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