In the 11th hour of being able to determine who would be on stage, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has qualified for the Democratic Party’s debate, set to occur in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.
The Las Vegas debate occurs just days before Saturday’s Nevada Caucus, the third nominating contest for Democrats in the race to win delegates and become the party’s nominee. This will be Bloomberg’s first debate performance within the presidential election season.
To qualify for the debate stage, the DNC had required candidates to receive at least a 10 percent share in polling from a minimum of four national polls, or 12 percent in two single-state polls for upcoming contests, CBS News reported. The DNC also eliminated the need for donor thresholds, which benefited the billionaire Bloomberg, who is self-financing his campaign.
Candidates also qualify if they have won at least one delegate in previous state nominating contests.
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) February 18, 2020
Bloomberg had previously managed to get at least 10 percent in three polls — the Fox News poll, Quinnipiac University, and Monmouth University. On Tuesday morning, he garnered 19 percent in the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.
Bloomberg’s performance in that poll puts him at second-place overall among Democrats, according to the data, behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who received 31 percent, and ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden, who received just 15 percent.
The poll also showed Bloomberg being a viable candidate against President Donald Trump. In a hypothetical, national head-to-head contest between the two, Bloomberg garners 48 percent while the incumbent president receives 44 percent.
The debate is set for 9 p.m. EST and is hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and The Nevada Independent.