DNC Overhauls Debate Requirements, Opening Door for Bloomberg

January 31, 2020 by Dan McCue
In this Jan. 20, 2020, photo, former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg talks to volunteers assembling backpacks at Scholarmade Achievement Place in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

WASHINGTON – The Democratic National Committee on Friday eliminated a qualifying fundraising requirement for a February debate in Las Vegas, potentially paving  the way for Michael Bloomberg to appear on the debate stage for the first time.

The debate is scheduled for February 19, just three days before the Nevada caucuses.

Candidates will need to earn at least 10 percent in four polls released between Jan. 15 and Feb. 18, or 12 percent in two polls conducted in Nevada or South Carolina, in order to participate.

Any candidate who earns at least one delegate to the national convention in either the Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire primary will also qualify for the Nevada debate.

Only six candidates qualified for the previous debate in Des Moines, Iowa – former Vice President Joe Biden,  Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and businessman Tom Steyer.

Bloomberg has been self-funding his campaign and therefore never met the fundraising thresholds for previous debates.

Instead, the former New York City mayor has spent tens of millions on television advertising and in networks of campaign offices in key Super Tuesday states.

The DNC’s next debate is set for Friday, Feb. 7 in New Hampshire. Seven candidates are set to take part: Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Steyer, and businessman Andrew Yang.

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