Michael Bloomberg may qualify for the Democrats’ Feb. 19 primary debate under new rules announced on Friday by the Democratic National Committee.
Although he has been rising in the polls, Bloomberg has not been able to participate in any of the debates since he announced his presidential bid because the rules required candidates to obtain a minimum number of donors. Bloomberg is self financing his campaign.
The new qualification guidelines do not include a donor threshold. Rather, they require that candidates get at least one delegate out of the upcoming Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, or reach at least 10% in four national polls or 12% in two state polls.
NBC News and MSNBC are sponsoring the debate on Feb. 19 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.
Bloomberg contributed more than $200 million to his campaign as of Dec. 31, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission on Friday. His campaign spent $188 million during that period.
The next debate will take place on Feb. 7 in New Hampshire, sponsored by ABC News, WMUR-TV and Apple News. Bloomberg will not qualify for that event because the guidelines still include the donor threshold.
The DNC’s decision drew criticism from some of the candidates.
“The DNC didn’t change the rules to ensure good, diverse candidates could remain on the debate stage,” Elizabeth Warren wrote on Twitter. “They shouldn’t change the rules to let a billionaire on. Billionaires shouldn’t be allowed to play by different rules—on the debate stage, in our democracy, or in our government.”