Steyer surges to third in early state tracking poll

Steyer surges to third in early state tracking poll
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Businessman Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerPoll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire CNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary Steyer's advice from son after overhearing Warren-Sanders hot mic dust-up: 'Don't be a snitch' MORE surged to third place in the Morning Consult tracker of the four early primary and caucus states, his best showing in the poll since he launched his presidential campaign.

Steyer garnered 15 percent support in an average of survey responses from Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, according to the poll released Tuesday.

The figures suggest that the billionaire businessman’s strategy of blanketing the airwaves and internet with ads is paying off as candidates compete for support before the first nominating contests next month.

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Steyer, who jumped 5 points from the same poll last week, trails former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE, who is in first with 27 percent support, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to Clinton: 'This is not the kind of rhetoric that we need' Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Human Rights Campaign president rips Sanders's embrace of Rogan endorsement MORE (I-Vt.), who comes in at second with 19 percent. Steyer outpaces other heavyweights in the poll like Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKlobuchar plans campaign rallies across Iowa despite impeachment trial Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Wyden asks NSA to investigate White House cybersecurity | Commerce withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon objects | Warren calls on Brazil to drop Greenwald charges Warren pledges to release Trump records if elected MORE (D-Mass.), who garners 12 percent, and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire CNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary Poll shows tight general election battle between Trump and top Democrats MORE, who is at 9 percent.

“Tom’s surging because his message is resonating: Washington is broken and that in order to fix it, we need to beat Trump and end corporate control of our government,” Steyer’s campaign manager Heather Hargreaves said in a statement. “The groundswell of support reflects the excitement we’re seeing in the early states when Tom has a chance to meet face-to-face with people and share his vision of building shared prosperity for all.”

The boost comes after two surprise Fox News polls showing Steyer at 12 percent in Nevada and 15 percent in South Carolina, marking 7- and 11-point jumps in the states from October, respectively.

The two polls were enough to help Steyer qualify for Tuesday night’s primary debate in Iowa, the final such event before the Hawkeye State holds its caucus on Feb. 3.

The businessman will join Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharKlobuchar plans campaign rallies across Iowa despite impeachment trial Impeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators Sanders says it's 'disappointing' he's not on campaign trail in Iowa MORE (D-Minn.) onstage at the debate on Tuesday night.

Steyer has worked to boost his standings in the first four nominating states by sinking tens of millions of dollars of his own money into his campaign, focusing heavily on releasing a steady stream of digital and television ads. He has spent at least $67 million on the airwaves so far, outpacing all of his primary rivals in ad-spending except for former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergPoll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire Chicago mayor weighing possible Bloomberg endorsement Judge Judy's verdict: Ignoring Bloomberg's record to endorse others made no sense MORE.

Morning Consult's average of early state polls accounts for 742 voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina and has a margin of error of 4 percent.