(AmericanPoliticalDaily.com) – Despite not claiming one delegate in the first two Democratic primaries, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has qualified for his first presidential debate.
Bloomberg qualifies because of relatively new qualification requirements. The Democratic National Committee requires candidates to get at least 10% support in four different polls from a published list of approved pollsters between January 15 and February 18. That allowed Bloomberg to qualify after he received 19% support in a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey — the fourth national poll that he notched above the 10% threshold.
The former requirements used to be based around grassroots campaign donations, but Bloomberg would have never qualified under those rules because he is funding his campaign himself through his billionaire fortune instead of accepting donations.
Despite his alternative form of campaigning — in which he’s spending tons of personal money to blast President Donald Trump and the Republicans — Bloomberg is actually polling well. His 19% in that most recent poll was second only to Bernie Sanders, who received 31% support.
That may be making other candidates like Sanders feel threatened. Sanders himself went off on Bloomberg at a rally in Nevada the other day, saying the American people are tired of being bought by billionaires.
Now, Jeff Weaver, one of Sanders’ top advisers, is bashing the DNC for changing its rules. Here’s what he had to say recently about it:
“To now change the rules in the middle of the game to accommodate Mike Bloomberg, who is trying to buy his way into the Democratic nomination, is wrong. That’s the definition of a rigged system.”
Joe Biden’s campaign has made recent mention of Bloomberg’s spending but lack of participation in the race, at least compared to how the other candidates are doing it.
For his part, Bloomberg is apparently excited to take the stage with the other Democratic candidates for president. As Kevin Sheekey, his campaign manager, said, Bloomberg 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.”
To this point, Bloomberg has made a lot of noise over the airwaves and in printed ads, but he hasn’t been as front and center as the other candidates. In both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, Bloomberg barely registered any attention at all.
But that hasn’t stopped him from spending money to campaign and gain attention. His real hope is to have a lot of momentum going into the primaries coming up, especially Super Tuesday in early March.
For now, Bloomberg will join his fellow candidates at the next Democratic primary debate, which is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas this Wednesday. It is hosted by The Nevada Independent, MSNBC and NBC News.