The next Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday will include Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who has already spent hundreds of millions on the race.
He met the threshold for qualification with the release of a new poll from NPR and PBS NewsHour showed that Bloomberg received 19% of support.
Bloomberg is expected to be joined by Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. The event will take place at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, and will be hosted by NBC News and MSNBC.
This will be the first Democratic debate this cycle with new criteria. Candidates need four national polls showing 10% or more of support, or 12% in two state polls of Nevada and South Carolina. They also could have received at least one delegate out of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Bloomberg, who joined the race in October, did not qualify for previous debates because the Democratic National Committee criteria also included a donor threshold, or a minimum number of campaign contributions. Because he is self-financing, that automatically made him ineligible until the DNC eliminated that requirement for the Las Vegas debate.
Bloomberg’s campaign manager, Kevin Sheekey, said, “Our campaign is seeing a groundswell of support across the country, and qualifying for the February 19 debate is the latest sign that Mike Bloomberg’s plan and ability to defeat Donald Trump is resonating with more and more Americans.”
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