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Bloomberg reassessing candidacy, will meet with advisers

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Image: \Mike Bloomberg speaks at a Super Tuesday event in West Palm Beach,
Mike Bloomberg speaks at a Super Tuesday event in West Palm Beach, Fla., on March 3, 2020.   -   Copyright  Joe Raedle Getty Images
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Mike Bloomberg is reassessing whether to stay in the 2020 Democratic primary after a disappointing performance on Super Tuesday and will meet with top advisers Wednesday morning in New York to discuss his next steps, senior campaign officials told NBC News.

The campaign officials said no final decision had been made. Bloomberg, who flew from Florida back to New York City on Tuesday night, currently has no public events scheduled for Wednesday.

After pouring more than $500 million of his own money into his campaign, Bloomberg failed to meet the 15 percent threshold required for winning delegates in most Super Tuesday states, earning only a small number of delegates and lagging far behind former Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the delegate count.

Earlier, the former New York City mayor insisted he would continue his campaign beyond Super Tuesday.

At a campaign stop in Miami earlier Tuesday, Bloomberg suggested he was prepared for a contested convention if necessary, saying "I don't think that I can win any other way," adding that he was "in it to win it."

On Tuesday, Vanity Fair reported that multiple Bloomberg advisers urged the mayor to get out of the race ahead of Super Tuesday and endorse Biden, but Bloomberg refused to do so. The Bloomberg campaign publicly disputed the Vanity Fair report.

Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey downplayed criticism on Tuesday that Bloomberg was drawing support from Biden, effectively boosting Sanders and increasing the chances of a contested convention.

Despite the results on Tuesday night, Bloomberg's campaign has invested $7 million in advertisements in states that vote after Super Tuesday, including delegate-rich Florida, according to the tracking firm Ad Analytics.

Bloomberg shook up the Democratic field in late November, jumping into the race just 100 days before Super Tuesday at the height of Democratic panic that Biden was too weak a candidate to win the party nomination.

Bloomberg skipped the first four early voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — instead focusing his time and money on Super Tuesday.

Early on, Bloomberg's unprecedented campaign strategy appeared to work. He performed well in polls and racked up endorsements as Biden struggled to earn the Party's confidence after poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.

But Bloomberg's favorability plummeted after the Las Vegas Democratic debate, where he was attacked for his alleged past comments about female employees and for enacting racially discriminatory policies as mayor.

Bloomberg has said that even if he does not win the primary, he will redirect his more than 500 campaign staffers to support the eventual Democratic nominee.