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It is crunch time tonight for Mike Bloomberg as he faces his first WH2020 debate

February 19th, 2020

No doubt he’ll be the target of all the contenders

Until now multi billionaire Mike Bloomberg has taken an unusual approach to his bid for the Democratic nomination. For starters he has skipped the tedious business of fundraising paying for his hugely expensive campaign himself. Secondly he has bypassed the first four primaries focusing all his efforts and money on the Super Tuesday states which vote on March 3. Also until now he has avoided the regular TV debates between the contenders and has yet to face up to the scrutiny of his fellow contenders.

His absence from the previous events has been down to the rules set by the party for participation which until now have involved fundraising thresholds. That’s now been changed by the Democratic National Committee which has made polling the only qualification requirement.

In the mean time Bloomberg has spent nearly $400m out spending all the other contenders put together and has built up a massive campaign team. This has led to him moving up in both the national and state primary polls which has been reflected in the betting. He’s currently the 26% second favourite on Betfair behind only Bernie who could soon be at evens.

One of his big vulnerabilities, which I’d expect Amy Klobuchar to exploit, are the widespread reports of his profanities and sexist comments with female staff many of whom have left with a big payoffs after signing non disclosure agreements.

Another weakness is his age. He celebrated his 78th birthday at the weekend.

What he’s got going for him is that of all the contenders he’s the one who gets most under Trump’s skin. The President knows the power of money and that in wealth terms he’s a dwarf while Bloomberg is a giant.

The two hour debate starts of 0200 GMT and should be available live on YouTube.

I wonder whether this Tweet from Bloomberg’s campaign chief alludes to an explosive revelation about Bernie in the debate

Mike Smithson