Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban explored a third-party bid for the presidency earlier this year but abandoned the plans after a poll he commissioned showed he couldn't win.
Cuban made the revelation Thursday in the "The Axe Files" podcast hosted by former Obama adviser David Axelrod.
The tech billionaire, a co-star of TV's "Shark Tank," has been a frequent critic of President Donald Trump. Cuban had mused about entering the 2016 presidential race before backing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and he has spoken multiple times in recent years about potentially running in 2020.
Cuban reiterated on the podcast that he looked into challenging Republican incumbent Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden this fall.
"What (the pollsters) found out is I'd take some votes away from Donald Trump, particularly with independents," Cuban said. "In a three-way (race) between me, Biden and Trump, I dominated the independent vote -- I got like 77 percent of it and was able to take some votes away from Donald and some votes away from Biden. But in aggregate, I was only able to get up to 25 percent.
"From every which way, crosstab, you name it, I had it analyzed and scrutinized every which way, projected, and they could only see me getting up to 25 percent. That's why I didn't pursue it further."
Cuban dismissed a suggestion that he decided against running as a third-party candidate out of concern his presence could help Trump get re-elected.
"Not so much that. I just didn't think I could win," Cuban said. "The competitive side of me thought, when people heard me speak, when people heard my positions, when people heard the fact that I understood what I was talking about and understood technology and none of the candidates understood technology that maybe I could do it.
"It wasn't so much about tipping the election one way or the other but what the pollster said is you think that and may be able to get up higher but it's still going to come down to one of those other two candidates."
While he declined to give an endorsement to Biden or Trump, Cuban said of Trump's presidency, "I think he got off to an OK start. I didn't like the specifics of the tax plan but thought corporate taxes needed to be lowered some. I wouldn't have lowered them that much. I did not think personal taxes need to be lowered as much as they were. They should have gone up for folks like me.
"I understand how Republicans and conservatives like the fact that he's trying to tilt the judiciary, but after that, I mean, he's a victim. He's not a leader at all. He has no communication skills. To this day, nothing is his fault. He's never admitted anything, and you can't be the leader of the free world and play the victim card all the time. It doesn't work, it's counterproductive, and it has led to us being diminished globally."
--Field Level Media