Six candidates have qualified for Wednesday’s Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas, including, for the first time, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday.
The ninth debate of the cycle, set to kick off at 9 p.m. ET at the Paris Theater, will feature the following candidates, in alphabetical order:
Former Vice President Joe Biden
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
NBC and MSNBC are hosting the debate in partnership with The Nevada Independent. The moderators are “NBC Nightly News” and “Dateline NBC” anchor Lester Holt, “Meet the Press” moderator and NBC News political director Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent and host of “MSNBC Live” Hallie Jackson, Noticias Telemundo senior correspondent Vanessa Hauc and The Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston.
After scrapping the individual donor threshold, candidates had two ways to qualify for this debate, either by doing well enough in the Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire primary to win at least one pledged delegate, or by meeting a polling threshold determined by the DNC.
Excluding Bloomberg, ABC News estimated that every qualifying candidate would be awarded delegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer. While there was no official ballot in Iowa, Bloomberg didn’t file to be on the New Hampshire Democratic primary ballot. The debate is just days ahead of the Nevada caucuses — and Bloomberg, who’s been running an unconventional campaign where he’s essentially skipped out on campaigning in the first four early voting states, also won’t be on the ballot in Nevada Saturday or in South Carolina on Feb. 29.
Candidates had two ways to meet the polling threshold: Get at least 10% support in four national polls and/or polls conducted in Nevada or South Carolina — referred to as the four-poll threshold — or get at least 12% support in two polls conducted in Nevada and/or South Carolina, referred to as the early state polling threshold.
According to ABC News’ analysis, Bloomberg met the four-poll threshold, and all of his qualifying polls were national polls. In order to count as qualifying polls, the polls had to be sponsored by different organizations, or if sponsored by the same organization, be covering different geographical areas.
All qualifying polls had to be publicly released between Jan. 15 and 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, and sponsored by an organization or pair of organizations from a list determined by the DNC.
The former mayor’s last qualifying poll came when he got 19% support nationally among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in a NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll released early Tuesday.
“Our campaign is seeing a groundswell of support across the country, and qualifying for the Feb. 19 debate is the latest sign that Mike’s plan and ability to defeat Donald Trump is resonating with more and more Americans,” Bloomberg’s campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said in a statement.
Skeekey continued: “Mike 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.”
You can read the rest of Quinn Scanlan’s article at ABCnews.com