The Nader 2004 Presidential Exploratory Committee was formed in late October as part of the consumer activist's effort to gauge support for a run, said Theresa Amato, a committee director.
"He is using it to test the waters," said Amato, who served as Nader's national campaign manager when he ran for president on the Green Party ticket in 2000. She said the organization is part of Nader's overall strategy of "talking to people, calling people, seeing what level of support there is."
The new committee also has a Web site under construction, www.naderexplore04.org, which Amato said would debut "very soon" and play a key role in raising money.
Nader has said he would decide by the end of the year, but Amato said Tuesday an announcement is more likely to occur early next year. Nader did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Part of his consideration is whether the major political parties decide to take his progressive agenda seriously. Nader has sent letters to Republican and Democratic party leaders urging more of a focus on issues such as universal health insurance and corporate fraud. Amato said Nader is still waiting to hear back from party officials.
But she cautioned against reading too much into the committee's formation. "Some other candidates have used it as the launching pad, but he's using it to test the waters," Amato said. "He is not a candidate now."
Nader won about 3 percent of the vote as the Green Party's candidate in 2000, but many voters blamed him for taking votes from Democrat Al Gore, paving the way for President Bush's narrow victory.
This year, Nader has been an active supporter of Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio congressman considered Nader's political soul mate on social and economic issues.