One Day Before Deadline, Tom Steyer’s Poll Surge Qualifies Him For January Iowa Democratic Debate

As the fairly large field of Democrats prepare to make lasting impressions on voters across the country, and especially in Iowa by taking part in the January Democratic primary debate, billionaire Tom Steyer managed to come in clutch in recent polls. That showing qualified him for the debate stage, less than 24 hours before the qualification deadline.

According to The Hill, the successful businessman can credit his upcoming debate stage appearance to a pair of polls administered by Fox News, which gave the New York hedge fund manager the boost he needed to meet debate qualification criteria set forth by the Democratic National Committee.

Both of the surveys from Fox News were state-level, with the first one from Nevada that revealed Steyer had jumped up seven points to 12 percent of support. That improvement was enough to tie for third place with Sen. Elizabeth Warren. He was only beaten by former Vice President Joe Biden, who led the pack in Nevada, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in second place.

Steyer apparently has made an even larger splash in the crucial voting state of South Carolina, where his numbers shot up 11 points since the last iteration of the poll, giving him the second place position at 15 percent of support. As with the Nevada survey, Biden once again led his competitors, scoring 36 percent of support in a state that has, so far, been one of his best.

The late-breaking results came as the Friday deadline approached to qualify for the Iowa debate. Candidates either had to score at least 5 percent in four qualifying national polls, or 7 percent in two qualifying state-based polls, which Steyer easily hit on Thursday.

The news comes on the heels of a big announcement by Steyer’s campaign last week, when they revealed that their candidate managed to hit 225,000 unique donors, which is another challenging objective in any candidate’s quest to appear on the debate stage. Steyer has reportedly self-funded a large portion of his campaign, using millions of dollars to fund advertising campaigns which, until recently, didn’t appear as if they were paying off.

Though Andrew Yang managed to raise an impressive amount of money in the fourth quarter, it appears at the time of this writing that he’s not yet managed to hit the polling threshold to make the Iowa debate, which would be a major setback for the surging, but struggling candidate.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Cory Booker have also failed, as of now, to qualify for the debate.

Steyer will join Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Biden, Sanders, and Warren for the seventh Democratic primary debate, which is set to air on January 14 on CNN.

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