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Democrats announce new debate rules, likely to allow Michael Bloomberg on stage

WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - The Democratic Party announced on Friday a new set of rules governing which presidential hopefuls are allowed to participate in debates, a shift that is likely to see billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg allowed on stage in February.

For a debate scheduled in Nevada on Feb. 19, the Democratic Party will drop a previous requirement that a candidate demonstrate grassroots support by collecting donations from thousands of donors.

Bloomberg is entirely self-funding his campaign, and while he has climbed in the polls, his lack of donors meant he continued to not qualify for debates. (Reporting by Ginger Gibson Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)