(NEWSWEEK) Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is reeling from a difficult debate night in Nevada, having been hammered by his fellow competitors in his first public head-to-head with the rest of the presidential hopefuls and casting doubt on whether he is a formidable opponent to President Donald Trump.
So far, Bloomberg has been riding the wave of his nationwide advertising campaign, positioning himself as a moderate Democratic politician who can take on and defeat President Trump. But his first direct exchange with his opponents may have dented his pitch, Ryan Enos, a political scientist at Harvard University, told Newsweek.
"Trump has shown his talent to bully and intimidate," Enos explained. "Bloomberg cast himself as a tough New Yorker who will handle Trump. His performance last night cast serious doubt on that claim.
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