Steyer hits donor threshold for January debate, but still has to meet polling requirement

Steyer hits donor threshold for January debate, but still has to meet polling requirement
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White House hopeful Tom SteyerTom SteyerTV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month Inslee calls Biden climate plan 'perfect for the moment' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration finalizes plan to open up Alaska wildlife refuge to drilling | California finalizes fuel efficiency deal with five automakers, undercutting Trump | Democrats use vulnerable GOP senators to get rare win on environment MORE hit the donor threshold to qualify for this month’s 2020 Democratic primary debate in Iowa. 

Steyer, a billionaire businessman and philanthropist, reached 225,000 unique donors Friday, meeting the requirement set by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to qualify for the Jan. 14 event; however, he has yet to meet the polling threshold to secure a spot on the Iowa stage. 

“Today’s achievement is a clear reflection of what we are seeing in the early states — voters are responding to Tom’s messages of tackling the climate crisis and building an economy that creates prosperity for all Americans,” said Heather Hargreaves, Steyer’s campaign manager. 

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“I want to thank all of our supporters for fighting to make sure Tom is on the debate stage Jan. 14 so voters across this country can hear firsthand how he’ll go toe-to-toe with Trump on the economy and expose him for what he is: a fraud and failure," she continued.

Besides garnering the necessary donors, 2020 candidates must also reach 5 percent support in at least four DNC-approved polls or at least 7 percent support in two single-state polls focused on Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.

Steyer has hit 5 percent in two approved polls thus far.

The DNC’s increased thresholds to qualify for the primary debates, which were announced in December, are intended to help winnow a crowded field; however, the body has come under criticism after December’s debate featured a nearly all-white stage, with the sole exception of Asian-American entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangThe shape of guaranteed income Biden's latest small business outreach is just ... awful Doctor who allegedly assaulted Evelyn Yang arrested on federal charges MORE. Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker says he will ask Amy Coney Barrett if she will recuse herself from presidential election-related cases Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election The movement to reform animal agriculture has reached a tipping point MORE (D-N.J.) and former San Antonio Mayor Julian CastroJulian CastroSanders says Democrats should have given more speaking time to progressives Castro says DNC should have put more Latino speakers on stage from beginning Jill Biden defends husband's cognitive ability from Trump attacks: 'It's ridiculous' MORE, who dropped out of the race this week, were both excluded from the debate.

Steyer and Booker have become vocal critics of the DNC and urged it to conduct more polling to give low- and middle-tier candidates a shot at qualifying for the next debate, which will come less than a month before Iowa holds the first nominating contest of the primary cycle.

“In an eventful campaign environment in which support shifts significantly over short periods of time, the lack of polling is poised to yield a field that is unrepresentative of voters’ current support,” Steyer’s campaign said in the statement announcing its donors.