Feb 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Warren calls Bloomberg an "egomaniac billionaire" ahead of his first debate

Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren. Photos: Alex Wong and Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday in accusing former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg of buying his way into the 2020 election, ahead of the ninth Democratic debate on Wednesday.

What she's saying: In a tweet, Warren wrote: "It’s a shame Mike Bloomberg can buy his way into the debate. But 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."

Driving the news: Bloomberg qualified for Wednesday's debate after notching 19% in the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

By the numbers: Bloomberg's campaign is vastly outspending his top 2020 rivals on digital and network ad spending, pouring in about $318 million, per FiveThirtyEight.

  • His campaign announced a plan earlier this month to double ad spending, expected to reach $600 million for TV and digital ads alone.

Go deeper: The cost of going after Bloomberg

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What to watch in the Nevada debate

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Cengiz Yardages and Mario Tama/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg's wealth will fuel rather than shield him from tests and attacks when he makes his Democratic primary debate debut on the stage tonight in Las Vegas.

The state of play: Bernie Sanders is still the front-runner. So the other candidates must weigh which of the two presents a bigger threat to their viability: Sanders, with his combined delegate, polling and grassroots momentum? Or Bloomberg, with his bottomless budget?

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

What to watch in tonight's Democratic debate

Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Colorado. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Bernie Sanders is now the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, and his opponents are ready to try to knock him down at tonight's debate in Charleston, South Carolina — especially Michael Bloomberg, who was the punching bag at the Las Vegas debate.

Why it matters: This is the last debate before Super Tuesday, when Sanders is expected to win California and Texas and could secure an insurmountable lead for the Democratic nomination. That's a direct threat to the entire field, but especially to Bloomberg, who skipped the early states to focus on the March 3 contests.

Polls: Sanders in control over Biden, Bloomberg

Photos: Brett Carlsen/AFP via Getty Images; Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images; Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A group of top national polls released this week show Bernie Sanders in control of the 2020 Democratic race ahead of Wednesday's debate in Las Vegas.

The state of play: Joe Biden, who has been at the top of the polls for months, plunged after lackluster performances in Iowa and New Hampshire — allowing Sanders to surge ahead as billionaire Mike Bloomberg has cut into the former vice president's lead among moderate voters.