Bloomberg to join Democratic debate amid poll surge

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg will take part in a nomination debate for the first time on Wednesday, his campaign confirmed.

In order to take part in the Nevada debate, he had to poll above double digits in four national polls recognised by the Democratic Party.

On Tuesday, a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found he had support from 19% of those surveyed.

The ex-New York Mayor is not competing in the first four nomination contests.

Mr Bloomberg, 78, has instead chosen to enter the race on 3 March, known as Super Tuesday, when 14 states will vote.

He came in second place in the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. Bernie Sanders came in first with 31% support nationally and Joe Biden was in third place with 15%.

"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," Mr Bloomberg's campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said in a statement.

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Current frontrunnersSource: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist national poll

Billionaire businessman Mr Bloomberg has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on television, radio and digital advertising for his campaign.

According to CNN, he has a campaign operation involving more than 2,000 aides in New York and across the country.

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Mr Bloomberg has been accused by rival candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders of trying to buy the election. He denies the claims and has offered to fund the Democratic effort to beat Republican President Donald Trump even if he does not win the nomination.

During a Democratic dinner in Nevada on Saturday, Mr Sanders said: "I got news for Mr Bloomberg, and that is the American people are sick and tired of billionaires buying elections."

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