“Everybody in the race — Biden, Warren, Trump — needs to take this seriously”

The party’s 2016 nominee, Hillary Clinton, was fielding calls in recent days about whether to get into the race, some close to her said. While it is still unlikely that she will run, some allies have gone so far as to talk about a potential pathway that would bypass Iowa and New Hampshire and focus on making a stand in South Carolina.

Bloomberg on Friday announced a similar potential plan, with an adviser saying that if Bloomberg did run, he would not aggressively compete in the first four states, an un­or­tho­dox strategy that, for those who have tried it, has led to electoral defeat. The announcement suggested that Bloomberg planned to uncork his campaign for the March 3 Super Tuesday primaries, at which point the race covers multiple states at a staggering cost to candidates.

“The late timing of our entry means that many candidates already have a big head start in the four early states, where they’ve spent months and months campaigning and spending money,” said the Bloomberg adviser, Howard Wolfson. “We have enormous respect for the Democratic primary process and many friends in those states, but our plan is to run a broad-based, national campaign.”