Sanders surges and Bloomberg makes his first appearance on stage in tonight’s Democrat presidential debate

By Dave Andrusko

To be candid, I find the debates among the Democrat presidential candidates so tedious, I usually jump in for a few minutes before jumping out and then read the transcript the next day. 

But not tonight.

Only six  candidates qualified for tonight’s debate in Nevada, starting at 9pm Eastern Standard Time. The big news, obviously, is that billionaire Michael Bloomberg (pro-abortion as are all the Democrats) will be on the stage for the first time, joining former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Bernie Sanders, and former Vice President Joe Biden.

However Bloomberg’s appearance is only marginally more significant than that self-described Democratic-Socialist Sen. Sanders has “surged” (the idiom of the day) in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll. In a story explaining the results, written by the Post’s Dan Balz and Scott Clement, we’re told

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), on the strength of his performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, has surged nationally and now holds a sizable lead over all of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Former vice president Joe Biden, who led Sanders in a Post-ABC national poll in January, has seen a sharp drop in his support after finishing fourth in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in the New Hampshire primary. Biden is now in a battle for second place with former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg, who won the state-delegate-count battle in the Iowa caucuses and came a close second to Sanders in New Hampshire, is in single digits nationally, roughly even with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), whose surprise third-place finish in New Hampshire further scrambled the Democratic contest.

To be precise, Sanders has exactly double the national support (32%) of Biden (16%) with Bloomberg third with 14%. Of more immediate significance, with the Nevada caucuses coming up Saturday, Saunders enjoys a 7 point advantage over Biden (25% to 18%) and almost double Warren’s total (13%), according to a poll conducted by the Los Vegas Review-Journal.

With the contest quickly eliminating candidates, doubtless there will be sharp elbows galore in tonight’s two-hour-long debate.