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Politics Did the Bloomberg campaign stack the debate audience with supporters?

05:55  26 february  2020
05:55  26 february  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage

  Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Speculation is increasing over whether Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg will participate in next week's Las Vegas primary debate after the Democratic National Committee opened the stage to the former New York City mayor. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The DNC scrapped a donor threshold requirement that has kept the self-funded candidate out of previous debates.He needs just one more state or national poll putting him over ten percent to qualify.

At times, the debate audience interjected with boisterous applause when Bloomberg spoke, including when he mentioned a gun-control group that he'd The campaign which saw dozens of supporters ’ Twitter accounts turned off this week after they participated in coordinated pro- Bloomberg messaging.

How does bloomberg stack up? No candidate has the potential to upend the race for the Sanders is likely to be a target at the debate , but Bloomberg is likely to be tested at least as Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden talks with supporters after at a

There’s not much doubt that the campaign team powering former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Democratic presidential bid is aware that last week’s debate in Nevada didn’t go well for their candidate. During the debate Tuesday evening in Charleston, S.C., Bloomberg seemed a bit better prepared than he had been then, a sign that his team had perhaps impressed upon him the need to do better.

Michael Bloomberg standing in front of a television screen: Mike Bloomberg raises his hand during the debate in Charleston. (Patrick Semansky/AP) © Patrick Semansky/AP Mike Bloomberg raises his hand during the debate in Charleston. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

But, just to hedge their bets, they had an obvious backstop. During the first commercial break of the debate, some markets, including New York City, showed an ad for Bloomberg’s campaign. Sure, the candidate himself was still fumbling a bit in offering even his go-to lines. But voters could still hear Bloomberg’s polished, edited pitch for the relatively low price of a network TV spot. For a campaign that already has spent half a billion dollars, that’s hardly an expense at all.

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The Sanders campaign declined to comment on both the incident and the Bloomberg campaign ’s accusations. Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Sanders During Wednesday’s Democratic primary debate , Mr. Sanders was pressed by several rivals to address questions about why his candidacy appears to

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Those watching the debate, though, suddenly noticed another way in which Bloomberg was unexpectedly being bolstered. At times, the debate audience interjected with boisterous applause when Bloomberg spoke, including when he mentioned a gun-control group he had founded. At other times, the audience booed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the candidate Bloomberg clearly sees as a primary opponent (understandably, given the polling).

It was a level of energy on Bloomberg’s behalf that’s somewhat at odds with his political personality. Bloomberg’s appeal isn’t centered on his charisma, an obvious observation for those watching the debate. He’s not actively campaigning in South Carolina, either, focusing instead on Super Tuesday next week. And yet there was a loud cadre of people who had finagled tickets just to cheer on their guy?

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Bloomberg , ahead of the debate , is signaling an all-out focus on Sanders, the race's ascendant frontrunner. Ahead of the debate , a person familiar the mayor's preparation told CNN that the former mayor's team is It's unclear what the campaign is constructively doing to address the clear deficit.

Tonight’s Debate Audience Sure Did Seem to Like Bloomberg for Some Reason. Last week’s debate was a nightmare for Mike Bloomberg . Not only was it likely the first time in years the business-information tycoon had a Then, campaigns may get some tickets to disperse among supporters .”

One might be forgiven for being somewhat skeptical that those attendees hadn’t been paid by the Bloomberg campaign for their presence and energy. This is a campaign, after all, that paid Instagram influencers to bolster his candidacy. The campaign paying people to send regular text messages to their friends promoting Bloomberg’s candidacy. The campaign that saw dozens of supporters’ Twitter accounts turned off this week after they participated in coordinated pro-Bloomberg messaging. It would not really be surprising if this same campaign hired people to offer the applause that was missing during his first debate performance.

As the debate moved forward, people on social media started passing around an article from earlier this month published by a local television station, WCSC-TV. According to that article, the Charleston County Democratic Party was guaranteeing tickets to the debate only to debate sponsors — at prices ranging from $1,750 to $3,200. Or, in other words, at a cost that Bloomberg could afford 20 million times over.

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The Bloomberg campaign ’s tactics have raised questions about whether posts by campaign But he hasn’t had a steady stream of income since October, and the Bloomberg gig seemed like easy Training materials did not suggest language for disclosing the organizer’s campaign role in texts or

Douglas did reference Bloomberg ’s shaky debut Democratic debate appearance last week. Elizabeth Warren in particular pressed Bloomberg in the debate , in a moment that soon went viral on social media. “I’m sure we’re going to be working a little bit more on debating ,” Douglas said in Boston.

The article didn’t allege that this is actually what Bloomberg did. Lillian Donahue, the WCSC reporter who revealed the ticket-pricing plan, explained in an email to The Post what she’d learned from her reporting.

“What I was told from the Charleston County and S.C. Dem. parties is that the campaigns would be given a portion of tickets to disperse among supporters,” she wrote. “But they didn’t explain who got tickets, how many went to each campaign and how the campaigns would choose to pass them out.”

Donahue followed up for more information, but the party wasn’t responsive. She noted that the county party’s debate website was later changed, with a button promoting sponsorship of the debate removed after her story was published. (Other events still listed on that page still include “get tickets” buttons. Attending a debate watch party and after-party would run you a $75 or $50 contribution apiece.) The chairman of the county party insisted during Donahue’s original report that such funding structures were how debates in other cities also were run.

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A spokesperson for the party denied on Twitter that campaigns had stacked the room.

“Candidates get the same amount of tickets,” Xochitl Hinojosa wrote. “No one is packing the debate hall.”

In response to a question from The Post, a campaign spokesperson listed the 15 people who had been given the Bloomberg campaign’s tickets. Three were organizers for the campaign. Three were volunteers. Most of the others were current or former elected officials.

It's important to note that Bloomberg wasn't the only obvious beneficiary of loud applause. Former vice president Joe Biden seemed to also get a lopsided amount of support — though he's leading in polling in the state. There seemed to be more applause in general than in past debates, perhaps prompting questions about who was there in the first place.

In other words, while Bloomberg’s campaign did have vocal support in the room, it doesn’t seem to be the case that it cost the campaign any money. The default assumption that pro-Bloomberg voices must have been cashing Bloomberg checks is not an assumption that arises without justification, but, here, it seems to be wrong.

Instead, the campaign laid out money to boost Bloomberg’s message the old-fashioned way: with yet another TV spot.

'It's a hard no': Sanders' campaign rejects Bloomberg's help in general election .
The billionaire former New York City mayor says he'll spend generously to help whichever Democrat goes up against Trump. But Sanders isn't interested.Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor currently running against Sanders in the 2020 Democratic primary, has said he would keep his money flowing to help oust President Donald Trump, regardless of whom Democrats nominate.

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