Steyer reaches donor threshold for fall Democratic debates

Steyer reaches donor threshold for fall Democratic debates
© Greg Nash

Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr Steyer2020 Democrats release joint statement ahead of Trump's New Hampshire rally The Hill's Morning Report - Trump lauds tariffs on China while backtracking from more Bullock knocks DNC rules after Steyer reaches donor threshold for fall debates MORE, the billionaire philanthropist and activist, has reached the required number of donors needed to qualify for the third and fourth Democratic presidential debates this fall, his campaign said on Tuesday.

Steyer gained more than 48,000 donors in the past week alone, his campaign said, giving him the boost he needed to hit the 130,000 donor mark ahead of the Aug. 28 deadline to qualify for the fall debates.

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“Since entering the race five weeks ago, our priority has been getting Tom’s message out to the American people,” Heather Hargreaves, his campaign manager, said. “Tom reaching this milestone just five weeks into his campaign is proof that his message is resonating with people across the country.”

To qualify for the fall debates, candidates have to amass the support of at least 130,000 donors and register at least 2 percent in four surveys from Democratic National Committee-approved pollsters.

Steyer has already notched 2 percent in three qualifying polls, putting him a single survey away from making the debate stage next month.

So far, nine candidates have met both requirements for the debates: former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPoll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April Obama has taken active interest in Biden's campaign: report The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren unveils Native American policy plan Poll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April Obama has taken active interest in Biden's campaign: report MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisPoll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment Fox News poll shows Trump losing to Biden, Warren, Sanders and Harris MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSteve King to Gillibrand: Odds of me resigning same as yours of winning presidential nomination We need a climate plan for agriculture 2020 Democrats urge Israel to reverse decision banning Omar, Tlaib visit MORE (D-N.J.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharNative American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment Biden, Sanders, Warren support dips in new poll 2020 Democrats release joint statement ahead of Trump's New Hampshire rally MORE (D-Minn.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangPoll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April Trump mocks appearance of rally protester: 'That guy's got a serious weight problem' Andrew Yang: 'What could Donald Trump possibly be better than me at? An eating contest?' MORE and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment Hillicon Valley: Deepfakes pose 2020 test for media | States beg Congress for more election security funds | Experts worry campaigns falling short on cybersecurity | Trump officials urge reauthorization of NSA surveillance program MORE.

Two other candidates — former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardNative American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment The US can't seem to live without Afghanistan 2020 Democrats release joint statement ahead of Trump's New Hampshire rally MORE (D-Hawaii) — have so far met only the donor threshold. Castro needs to register 2 percent in one more poll to qualify, while Gabbard needs three more polls to hit that threshold. 

The third round of debates will be held in Houston on Sept. 12 and 13. If more than 10 candidates qualify for the September round, they will be split into two groups with each group debating on one of the two nights.

Steyer launched his campaign a little more than a month ago but was able to amass donor support rapidly by pumping money into an aggressive digital advertising program. 

Since announcing his candidacy, he has spent more than $2.6 million on Facebook and Google ads, according to data compiled by Bully Pulpit Interactive, a Democratic digital firm that is tracking online ad spending in the presidential race. 

Between July 27 and Aug. 3 alone, Steyer’s campaign spent more than $627,000 on Facebook ads mentioning the Democratic debates — more than any other candidate in the race.