Steyer reaches donor threshold for fall Democratic debates

Steyer reaches donor threshold for fall Democratic debates
© Greg Nash

Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerPoll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Sanders reclaims second place in new 2020 poll Progressive group to spend as much as M to turn out young voters 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 BidenMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Democrats release two new transcripts ahead of next public impeachment hearings Press: Ukraine's not the only outrage MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersRahm Emanuel: Bloomberg, Patrick entering race will allow Democrats to have 'ideas primary' Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Jayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenRahm Emanuel: Bloomberg, Patrick entering race will allow Democrats to have 'ideas primary' Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Jayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Fox News anchor apologizes for saying Booker dropped out of 2020 race MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerJayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Fox News anchor apologizes for saying Booker dropped out of 2020 race MORE (D-N.J.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China Fox News anchor apologizes for saying Booker dropped out of 2020 race Klobuchar unveils plan to secure elections as president MORE (D-Minn.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangJayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' Sanders reclaims second place in new 2020 poll MSNBC apologizes after leaving Yang out of presidential poll graphic MORE and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Sanders reclaims second place in new 2020 poll MORE.

Two other candidates — former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSanders reclaims second place in new 2020 poll New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne 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.