Michael Bloomberg

In Las Vegas — a city known for prize fights — the Democrats were gloves off.

And a new entrant in the ring took a lot of incoming: former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent more than $300 million of his own money on ads to raise his profile.

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It's showtime in Las Vegas. Democratic presidential candidates are debating for the ninth time for the 2020 campaign, but it's former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's first time on stage.

He isn't on the ballot in Nevada's caucuses, but billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be on the national debate stage for the first time, joining five other Democratic candidates Wednesday night during the debate in Las Vegas. He qualified after surging in the polls.

Three days before the Nevada caucuses, six Democratic candidates will face off in a debate Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

The televised debate comes on the heels of a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll that shows Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading nationally, with 31% support among Democratic-leaning voters.

Trailing Sanders in second in the survey is billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, with 19% backing.

Updated at 7:08 a.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened up a double-digit lead in the Democratic nominating contest, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Sanders has 31% support nationally, up 9 points since December, the last time the poll asked about Democratic voters' preferences.

Seven events, three states, two days.

Mike Bloomberg has wrapped up a barnstorming trip to capitalize on an unsettled Democratic presidential race.

Polls show the billionaire former New York City mayor gaining traction, as onetime front-runner Joe Biden has struggled after very disappointing finishes in the first two contests.

Bernie Sanders won in New Hampshire, with Pete Buttigieg in second. The two essentially tied in Iowa.

Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET

Michael Bloomberg is distancing himself from a 2015 speech in which the former New York City mayor defended aggressive police tactics in minority neighborhoods.

Audio of the talk began recirculating online, generating fresh debate over stop and frisk, one of Bloomberg's signature policies as mayor, forcing him to back away from the remarks.

Bloomberg, in a statement, noted how he had apologized for championing stop and frisk before kicking off his presidential bid.

Democrats all want one thing: to beat Donald Trump.

The problem is, they can't agree on who's best to do that. With a month to go until the Iowa caucuses, there's a clear top tier of four candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Ind.

Billionaire presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has acknowledged that one of his vendors hired a subcontractor that used prison workers to make phone calls for his 2020 campaign.

That prison labor was being used by the Bloomberg campaign was reported Thursday morning by The Intercept. The campaign says it was unaware that inmate workers were making phone calls on its behalf until informed by The Intercept's reporter, and says it immediately cut ties to the vendor.

Updated at 12:22 ET

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making a late entry into the presidential race, a move that could upend the Democratic nominating contest this spring.

Bloomberg said in a statement Sunday that he is running to rebuild America and defeat President Trump, whom he says "represents an existential threat to our country and our values."

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