Steyer raises $2 million for presidential bid in third quarter

Steyer raises $2 million for presidential bid in third quarter
© Greg Nash

Billionaire philanthropist and activist Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerSteyer unveils criminal justice reform plan Trump sets record for tweets as president on day House makes impeachment case Steyer spokesperson: 'I don't think necessarily that Tom has bought anything' MORE pulled in more than $2 million for his presidential bid in the past three months, his campaign said Thursday.

The fundraising haul is among the lowest announced by any candidate this quarter and puts Steyer far behind the Democratic primary field’s top fundraisers, like Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll Warren calls for Brazil to drop charges against Glenn Greenwald MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris weighing Biden endorsement: report Biden, Sanders contend for top place in new national poll Biden leads Democratic primary field nationally: poll MORE (D-Mass.), who raised $25.3 million and $24.6 million, respectively. 


But the relatively low fundraising total isn’t likely to complicate Steyer’s presidential ambitions too much. He has already vowed to spend at least $100 million of his personal fortune on his primary bid, and his campaign has not yet said how much of his own money he has already pumped into the operation. 

That information will be publicly disclosed by Oct. 15, the deadline for candidates to submit their third-quarter financial reports to the Federal Election Commission.

Steyer’s team said on Thursday that more than 166,000 people had given to his presidential campaign in the third quarter, enough to qualify for the fifth Democratic primary debate in November. The average donation size was $12, according to his campaign.

Steyer entered the Democratic nominating contest relatively late, announcing his candidacy in July, and has so far struggled to gain the same kind of national momentum that top-tier candidates like Warren, Sanders and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE have.

But polls in early primary and caucus states have shown him with enough support to qualify for the November debate. He’s also slated to participate in the fourth debate on Oct. 15, an accomplishment that several of his Democratic rivals failed to achieve.

Steyer’s campaign manager, Heather Hargreaves, touted the wealthy philanthropist’s early success on the campaign trail, but noted that his “late entry into the race meant that we needed to move swiftly to catch up with the other candidates who have been running since last year.”

“The campaign’s success is directly tied to Tom’s experience in creating national grassroots movements,” Hargreaves said in a statement. “We built an organization in the early states quickly and have been using a wide-array of communications platforms, and we can see definitively that Tom’s message of breaking the stranglehold corporations have on our democracy is resonating with voters. That’s how Tom qualified for the October and November debates in less than three months.”