Bloomberg postpones CNN townhall for debate prep

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFormer Bloomberg staffer seeks class-action lawsuit over layoffs Bloomberg spent over 0M on presidential campaign The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE will postpone a CNN town hall slated for Monday to prepare for Tuesday’s debate in South Carolina.

The announcement comes on the heels of both Bloomberg’s widely panned debate performance in Nevada last week and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Sanders still sees 'narrow path' to Democratic presidential nomination Tenants call on lawmakers to pass rent freezes MORE’s (I-Vt.) resounding victory in the Nevada caucuses over the weekend. Bloomberg, who did not enter any of the early contests, will first compete in next week's Super Tuesday primaries.

Preventing Sanders from opening up an insurmountable lead has become paramount to the Bloomberg campaign after Sanders’s Nevada victory combined with polls showing him catching up with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll The Memo: Political world grapples with long coronavirus shutdown The Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina emerges as key battleground for Senate control MORE in South Carolina after Biden previously led by double digits in the Palmetto State.

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In last week’s debate, the first for which the former mayor qualified, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Biden faces pesky enthusiasm challenge despite big primary numbers MORE (D-Mass.) confronted him with his history of allegations of sexual harassment and sexist comments. The Massachusetts senator has since seen a slight rise in the polls following her debate performance.

A spokeswoman for Bloomberg told The Associated Press the Tuesday debate will be “crucial,” adding “the country can’t afford to let Bernie Sanders skate by another debate without a focus on his extreme record.”

Bloomberg has intensified his attacks on the Vermont senator in recent weeks, running ads featuring compilations of hostile tweets the campaign claims are from Sanders supporters and accusing Sanders of insufficient support for gun control.