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Michael Bloomberg. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg might still run for president in 2020, especially if former Vice President Joe Biden winds up not getting in, according to people who have discussed the matter with the former New York mayor.

Between the lines: These people tell me that Bloomberg, 77, who announced March 5 that he wouldn't run, might reconsider if a centrist lane were to open up. The most likely scenario for that would be if Biden, 76, whose displays of public affection have burst into a major issue, were to stay out or fade fast.

Why it matters: Bloomberg would be a voice of more moderate practicality in a field where the early campaigning has been dominated by leftish idealism.

  • Bloomberg, estimated by Forbes to be worth $58 billion, could spend unlimited amounts to argue that no one in the race had done more to promote action on climate and guns.
  • So Bloomberg, at least at first, could command a hearing and impose a footprint in a way that few candidates can.

The people who have talked to Bloomberg caution that if he were to revisit the decision, he might well wind up in the same place.

  • But we're told Biden's presumed candidacy was a fairly significant factor in Bloomberg's decision, after massive spending on data and polling.
  • The race looked like "a bloody fight for the same slice of voters," a source said.
  • But Bloomberg really wanted to go, according to numerous friends.
  • "He's a data guy," one of them said. "He couldn't get the math to work."

Be smart: Bloomberg's second thoughts speak volumes about how Democrats view the allegations' damage to Biden, who has spent days dealing with wall-to-wall coverage of whether his touchy-feely, gregarious style is fine or a bit creepy. 

  • It's unlikely to stop Biden from running, but certainly makes him look more vulnerable than a week ago.

Go deeper:

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Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.

Crypto leads to massive surge in online scams

Expand chart
Reproduced from FTC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bogus cryptocurrency investments led to an unprecedented increase in online scams last year, according to new data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is an easy target because while it's surging in popularity, there's still a lot of confusion about how it works.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

New clues emerge on long COVID

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The presence of certain autoantibodies or high amounts of coronavirus RNA in the blood could be indicators a patient has a higher chance of developing long COVID, according to a new study in the journal Cell.

  • Other factors include a person having Type 2 diabetes or the reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus.