Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Sources close to Mike Bloomberg tell Axios that last week's announcement was partly a trial balloon to gauge interest and preserve the former mayor's options — but his own very extensive polling remains far from convincing.

The big picture: Polling being studied by Bloomberg shows big, perhaps insurmountable hurdles, particularly if Joe Biden stays in. 

Why it matters: That's why Bloomberg didn't run in the first place, and still might not.

  • Bloomberg, reflecting his life in business, is practical and data-driven. His formal announcement has always been contingent on whether polling showed a convincing path to victory.

Morning Consult finds that Bloomberg is the first choice of just 4% of Democratic primary voters — putting him in sixth place, between Sen. Kamala Harris and Andrew Yang.

  • Bloomberg fares "about as well as Warren, Sanders and Biden in hypothetical matchup against Trump."
  • But "25% of Democratic primary voters express unfavorable views of the billionaire, higher than any of the 15 candidates currently in the race."

The bottom line ... Nate Silver's take on the poll: "Biden still with a clear lead; no particular evidence Biden impacted more than others. ... Not exactly the 'seismic disruption' that some predicted."

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Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.