By Stacy Smith

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The highly-anticipated debut of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage left a lot of modern Democrats puzzled and disappointed.

This is part of what will be discussed as we go “Around The Table, Campaign 2020.”

Joining KDKA’s Stacy Smith around the table is Keith Schmidt, who served as state director for former Republican Senator Rick Santorum. Schmidt assisted Santorum in his run for the presidency.

Smith and Schmidt are joined by Joe Mistick, who teaches law at Duquesne University.

Many are saying Bloomberg was a bust and now the moderates within the part are very concerned.

“I don’t think he was a bust,” Mistick said. “Was it a rough start? Indeed, it was a rough start.”

“When you have a bad debate performance, money could dry up. That will never be a problem for Mr. Bloomberg,” Schmidt said.

Adding to the concerns of the moderates is the polling in the next two states that are choosing the nominee.

In the latest average of Polla in Nevada, compiled by Real Clear Politics, the long-time leader Joe Biden continues to drop and Bernie Sanders continues to surge ahead.

It’s not just in Nevada. The story is the same in South Carolina.

“These are small margins,” Mistick said. “These polls are a snapshot.”

“It’s going to be a race between capitalism and socialism and a big extreme in the middle,” Schmidt said. “It’s going to benefit Mr. Sanders if he can narrow the field quickly. He needs a first-ballot win.”

Kevin Sheeky, the top strategist for Bloomberg, released a statement that in part said:

“The fact is if the state of this race remains status quo — with Biden, Pete (Buttigieg) and Amy (Klobuchar) in the race on Super Tuesday — Bernie is likely to open up a delegate lead that seems nearly impossible to overcome.”

“Both Sanders and Bloomberg need each other in this race,” Mistick said.