This year Bloomberg has embarked on a great social experiment to see if money can buy a Democratic Party presidential nomination — and he’s already spent in excess of $400 million of his own money in that quest. First, though, he faces a hurdle that also belongs on the list of things money can’t buy: a winning debate performance.

But that’s exactly what the multi-billionaire businessman and former New York City mayor will need tonight as he steps on stage with his rivals in Nevada. How he performs could well determine the success or failure of his candidacy…

Will Bloomberg be Amy or Marco — or somewhere in-between? He enters the Nevada debate with a very high profile — courtesy, again, of the vast sums he’s spent thus far. He’s in third place in the RCP Average of national polls, second place in the RCP Betting Odds Average, and rising in some Super Tuesday state polls in places like Texas and Virginia. In other words, Bloomberg has purchased the high expectations he’ll carry into tonight.