Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has qualified for Wednesday's Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas ahead of this weekend's Nevada caucuses, where he will take the stage for the first time.
Bloomberg will face his Democratic challengers face-to-face and give a nationwide audience a chance to see how the billionaire media mogul fares against questions from moderators and opponents.
Bloomberg qualified for Wednesday's debate thanks to a new poll showing him polling at 19 percent among the Democratic field. He failed to qualify for any previous debate because, as he's funding his campaign entirely with his own money, he didn't meet the donor criteria. The party has since dropped that requirement.
"Mike is looking forward to joining the other Democratic candidates on stage and making the case for why he's the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump and unite the country," said Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey.
"The opportunity to discuss his workable and achievable plans for the challenges facing this country is an important part of the campaign process."
Some of the Democratic candidates said they are looking forward to facing Bloomberg, who switched over from the Republican Party in 2018 and has blitzed the airwaves in recent weeks with an aggressive advertising campaign, including one during the Super Bowl earlier this month.
"I got news for Mr. Bloomberg, and that is the American people are sick and tired of billionaires buying elections," Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said.
"I can't beat him on the airwaves, but I can beat him on the debate stage," said Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who made a strong jump in the field in New Hampshire last week.