As of just a few days ago, Bloomberg was on the cusp of joining the debate stage for the first time this week in Nevada. As of today, a new national Democratic primary poll puts him well above the threshold set forth by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Bloomberg will become the sixth candidate on stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.
According to Bloomberg’s campaign, the former mayor is pleased to join the stage with his competitors:
Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said in a statement Tuesday that the candidate is “looking forward to joining the other Democratic candidates on stage and making the case for why he’s the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump and unite the country. The opportunity to discuss his workable and achievable plans for the challenges facing this country is an important part of the campaign process.”
Whether Bloomberg is actually looking forward to debating is, well, debatable. His strategy to coast along, writing his own narrative with a few hundred million dollars in advertising has allowed him to foster his message unchallenged in front of a national audience. His Democratic competitors have taken shots at him, but in the form of sound bites or angry tweets, nothing has had much of an effect to slow down his growing momentum.
It is for that reason alone some progressives have wanted to see Bloomberg make the debate stage so he has to defend his record face-to-face with his opponents. Wednesday night in Las Vegas will offer the first opportunity Bloomberg’s competitors have to attack him in person and the first time he’ll have to defend his prior policies, statements, and positions while standing in front of a live national television audience.
Here are the details on the Nevada Democratic debate taking place on Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Las Vegas:
NBC/MSNBC Nevada Democratic Debate
NBC News/MSNBC Nevada Democratic Debate (9th Debate)
Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Time: 9 pm ET (8 pm CT, 7 pm MT, 6 pm PT)
Watch On: MSNBC and NBC
Location: Paris Theater Las Vegas, Nevada
Sponsors: The Nevada Independent, NBC News
Moderators: Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Hallie Jackson, Vanessa Hauc, and Jon Ralston
The rules have been changed for the Nevada debate with the donor requirements being lifted leaving only polling thresholds for candidates to meet. Here is the list of qualified candidates that will be on the stage Wednesday night in Vegas:
Nevada Debate Rules
Unlike every prior debate, where candidates had to meet both polling and donor thresholds, the donor requirement has been dumped. For the Nevada debate, candidates can earn a podium spot in two ways.
Delegates – Candidates who earned enough support in Iowa or New Hampshire to win at least one delegate automatically qualify for the Nevada debate.
Polls – Any candidate who does not earn a delegate can still qualify through polling. Candidates must register at least 10 percent in four polls approved by the DNC between Jan. 15 and Feb. 18, or at least 12 percent in two early-state polls from the remaining states of South Carolina or Nevada.
As of Tuesday, Feb. 18, the deadline for qualification, Mike Bloomberg surpassed the needed polling requirements and has earned a debate slot.
We will have complete debate coverage on Wednesday including live stream links and more details on how to watch this pivotal debate from Nevada.