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Mike Bloomberg Could Participate in Next Debate Thanks to DNC Rule Change

The DNC no longer requires candidates to have tens of thousands of donors to quality for a debate

The Democratic National Committee revised the thresholds necessary for candidates to qualify for debates Friday, paving the way for former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to take the stage at the next debate.

NBC News, which is hosting the ninth Democratic debate on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas, reported that the party did away with the grassroots donor threshold, which has required candidates in every other debate thus far to receive donations from tens of thousands of supporters to qualify.

As Bloomberg, a billionaire, is self-funding his campaign and not accepting donations, this now gives him the opportunity to qualify for February’s debate, which is being co-hosted by MSNBC.

In announcing revisions to the qualification thresholds Friday, the DNC said, “To qualify for the Nevada debate stage, candidates may qualify either by (1) meeting a delegate threshold, or (2) meeting a polling threshold.  Qualifying polls for the Nevada debate will include national polling and polling in Nevada and South Carolina. A candidate’s support in Iowa and New Hampshire will be reflected through the results of those contests.”

“We are thrilled that voters could soon have the chance to see Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage, hear his vision for the country, and see why he is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump and bring our country together,” said Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey in a Friday statement.

He continued, “Mike has run for office three times and never taken a dime from special interests, allowing him to act independently, on the merits, without having to do what donors expect. He is proud to be doing the same with this campaign.” 

Brad Bauman, a top adviser for candidate Andrew Yang, tweeted, “If you look at the new DNC debate thresholds as anything other than ‘Get Andrew Yang off stage and put Mike Bloomberg on,’ Then you are high.”