The focus of the Democratic contest for a presidential candidate moves to Nevada for the caucus on Saturday February 22 where early voting turnout has been high
More than 36,000 Nevadans opted to vote early in the first three days of Nevada’s Democratic caucus — the first time that the unique early voting option has been available in a contest of presidential preferences. Turnout levels in four days of early voting alone were not available at press time, but could amount to well over half of the total turnout in the party’s one-day, 2016 caucus, when 84,000 people participated.
Much of the focus has been on tonight’s debate exclusively on MSNBC which will include former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg despite complaints that he is not on the Nevada ballot and has bought is place on the stage. Mr. Bloomberg is a real multi-billionaire who has flooded the airways with nearly $500 million in campaign ads. He has moved up in the polls which qualified him for the debate after the DNC changed the rules on campaign funding. Needless to say, supporters of Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Julian Castro are pretty miffed, as are those candidates who qualifies under the previous rules for campaign financing. Many are demanding the resignation of the DNC chair Tom Perez.
So, tonight debate should be interesting with the former mayor, who is another Trump but actual richer. His debate performance is seen as test.
Bloomberg is expected to endure heavy attacks from his opponents, and his performance may be a crucial test of his candidacy, political experts say, and for the party’s 2020 nominating fight.
On Tuesday, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said “it’s a shame” that Bloomberg “can buy his way into the debate. She tweeted: “At least now primary voters curious about how each candidate will take on Donald Trump can get a live demonstration of how we each take on an egomaniac billionaire.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is the front-runner in Nevada in several polls, took similar aim at Bloomberg.
“Democracy to me means one person, one vote, not Bloomberg or anybody else spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to buy an election,” Sanders said.
Mr. Bloomberg’s problems are far greater than his buying his way to the stage. His policies while Mayor of NYC are a far bigger issue, particularly, his support of “stop and frisk” and the surveillance of the Muslim community that didn’t find one terrorist.
Tonight’s debate starts at 9 PM ET and will be broadcast on NBC and MSNBC and can be watched online at NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com. The moderators will be Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Hallie Jackson, Vanessa Hauc and Jon Ralston.