Bloomberg makes debate stage, facing Dem rivals for 1st time

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(AP) - Billionaire Mike Bloomberg has qualified for the next Democratic presidential debate.

Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during his campaign launch of "Mike for Black America," at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll published Tuesday shows Bloomberg with 19% support nationally.

It’s the first time Bloomberg will stand alongside the rivals he has so far avoided by bypassing the early voting states and using his personal fortune to define himself through television ads.

The former New York mayor will appear Wednesday in Las Vegas alongside Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg. His campaign says he’s “looking forward” to it.

The Democratic National Committee recently changed its rules for how a candidate qualifies for the debate, opening the door for Bloomberg. Tom Steyer hopes to qualify.

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