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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