New Debate Requirements Could Put Bloomberg Onstage

DNC eliminates the individual donor threshold
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2020 4:05 PM CST
New Debate Requirements Could Put Bloomberg Onstage
Michael Bloomberg takes a photo with a supporter during a campaign event Monday in Burlington, Vermont.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

If the Democratic National Committee would change the rules "so I could get into the debates," Michael Bloomberg said this week, "I'd be happy." Done. The committee has announced major changes in its requirements for candidates to qualify for the presidential primary debates, Politico reports. The minimum performance in polls required has been raised, but the individual donor rule is gone. Bloomberg doesn't accept money from individuals, so he was locked out of the eight debates so far; donations from 225,000 donors has been the minimum, per the Hill. The billionaire and former mayor of New York has refused to budge on his own rule. "With my wealth it's obscene to ask somebody else to support my campaign," he said.

"The donor threshold was appropriate for the opening stages of the race, when candidates were building their organizations," a DNC spokeswoman said, per NBC News, "and there were no metrics available outside of polling to distinguish those making progress from those who weren't." To qualify, candidates now will need to win at least one delegate from the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary, or poll at least 10% in four national polls or 12% in two state polls from Nevada and South Carolina. There have been complaints among Democrats that Bloomberg has had it easy by not having to face opponents and questions on the debate stage. The next debate is Feb. 19 in Las Vegas. (More Michael Bloomberg stories.)

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