A day or two ago, Bloomberg had 3 of the 4 required national polls to qualify. While I appreciate how unfair it is for him to be on the debate stage under modified rules that may have allowed other candidates to appear in previous debates. I get that the new rules make it a lot easier for super rich people to buy their way into contention. But, as a voter, I want to see him in a debate. Low-information voters exposure to him is a bunch of TV spots about how awesome he is and how much Obama loves him (at least, that’s what I’m seeing in Ohio). Even voters who put research into it … looking at any of these candidate’s web sites or listing to their stump speeches provides a one-sided view.
It was informative to see Buttigieg side-step questions about policing during his time in office. It was informative to see Sanders explaining his early votes against gun control (and, personally, I’ve always wanted to see a candidate say “I have new information, and I’ve changed my view”). It was informative to have known the whole context of Buttigieg’s “switch to cartoons” comment and how Kobluchar misrepresented his statement — and to see how ineffective he was countering the misrepresentation because I *know* Trump is going to do a lot of misrepresenting in the run up to the general election. It was informative to hear Castro’s position on foreign policy/aid as it impacts immigration policy.
Bloomberg is going to show up on my ballot as an option. The latest average I’ve seen for Ohio has him 5 percent above Warren and 4-5 percent behind Sanders and Biden. It’s not like he’s some random dude expected to get a couple hundred votes. I hope I’m able to hear him respond to questions he’d probably rather *not* have to answer. To hear him respond directly to other candidates. And, honestly, to help highlight why campaign finance reform is such an important topic. It’s not like the process will be made ‘fairer’ by disqualifying self-funded candidates from debates.