Steyer reaches donor threshold for fall Democratic debates

Steyer reaches donor threshold for fall Democratic debates
© Greg Nash

Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden expands lead in new national poll Castro qualifies for next Democratic primary 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 BidenSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Giuliani says he discussed Biden with Ukrainian official MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKrystal Ball: Elites have chosen Warren as The One; Lauren Claffey: Is AOC wrong about the Electoral College? Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Rising Warren faces uphill climb with black voters Inslee drops out of 2020 presidential race MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOvernight Defense: Two US service members killed in Afghanistan | Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS | Pentagon scraps billion-dollar missile defense program ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate Sanders targets gig economy as part of new labor plan MORE (D-N.J.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Defense: Two US service members killed in Afghanistan | Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS | Pentagon scraps billion-dollar missile defense program ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill MORE (D-Minn.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Harris to appear in CNN climate town hall after backlash MORE and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate National poll finds tight race between Biden, Sanders and Warren MORE.

Two other candidates — former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate Lawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden expands lead in new national poll 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.