Sanders' surge in the polls triggers new provocations by media, Democratic establishment

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Billionaire media mogul and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is set to make his first appearance in a televised Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday.

Tweeting on Wednesday, Trump asked whether the "corrupt" Bloomberg News channel would admit that its owner "Mini Mike" was a pathetic debater.

"It's possible he'll hit that debate stage and the public will say, 'the emperor has no clothes, ' so he's really got to be prepared for what could make or break his campaign and how he'll do on Super Tuesday", she said. Candidates were previously required to receive a certain number of campaign contributions to qualify, but Bloomberg, who is worth an estimated $60 billion, is not taking donations.

Bernie Sanders' national press secretary made a bold claim defending the Democratic front-runner's refusal to release his medical records, comparing the demands to the birther lies against former President Barack Obama and baselessly claiming that, like Sanders, Democratic contender Michael Bloomberg had suffered heart attacks. Pete Buttigieg said Bloomberg should answer for allegations of sexist and racist remarks at his business.

Regardless of who they plan to support in the primary, 34 percent of respondents thought Sanders was most likely to beat Trump, while 16 percent picked Biden and Bloomberg.

Voters will not formally judge Bloomberg's performance until next month. He has been forced to defend himself over his previous adamant support of the police tactic known as stop-and-frisk, which critics say law enforcement uses to racially profile pedestrians. "I misspoke when I said Bloomberg had a heart attack", she wrote. Sanders took first with 31 percent and former Vice President Joe Biden came in third with 15 percent followed by Warren at 12, Klobuchar at 9, and Buttigieg at 8.

"If he was a woman, he would be finished", she added.

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll included plenty of horse-race data to chew on, but it also included questions about the kinds of qualities voters want (or don't want) to see in a presidential candidate.

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He is certain to face onstage criticism Wednesday night from his rivals, especially Sanders and Warren, the two candidates who are not appearing at private fundraisers and who have made targeting billionaires central to their campaigns.

"It's a shame Mike Bloomberg can buy his way into the debate". That raised the likelihood that the debate will involve a clash between Bloomberg, the former Republican, and the democratic socialist Sanders. Sanders, Biden and Warren had support from 27 percent, 24 percent and 23 percent of respondents, respectively.

Recently released surveys, including a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, provided Bloomberg the percentages he needed to get into the Nevada debate.

This is a significant shift from the January poll that showed California's primary as a three-way race, with 27% supporting Sanders, 24% Biden, and 23% Warren.

And former Vice President Joe Biden has promised a first- or second-place finish in Nevada and wants to show his campaign is still viable after disappointing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Bloomberg's rise in the polls has caused his 2020 rivals to ramp up their attacks on him during the past few days.

Sanders has repeatedly slammed Bloomberg for his attempt to "buy" his way into the presidential race, and by highlighting Bloomberg's absence on the campaign trail in early-voting states.

"Mike Bloomberg 2020 has teamed up with social creators to collaborate with the campaign, including the meme world", Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said in a statement.

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