Tom Steyer Qualified for October’s Democratic Debate

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Thanks to billionaire Tom Steyer, who could’ve used his money to fund ThinkProgress instead of running for president, the fourth round of Democratic presidential debates will be held on two consecutive nights in October instead of one.

Steyer had failed to qualify for the third round of debates, to be held on Thursday. That debate—thank god—will take place on only one night, at Texas Southern University, and will be hosted by ABC and Univision, our former employer.


To qualify for both the third and fourth rounds, candidates needed to reach 2% in four polls and collect donations from 130,000 unique donors.

According to CBS News, Steyer reached 2% in Nevada in the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker poll, published on Sunday, in addition to previously reaching 2% in three other polls. Steyer’s campaign already had announced it had reached the donor requirement. Again, damnit!


Here’s a list for the third debate. For the fourth, in October, you can just add Steyer’s name for now. According to CBS, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has met the donor threshold, but not the polling threshold.

  • Joe Biden
  • Cory Booker
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Julián Castro
  • Kamala Harris
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Beto O’Rourke
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Andrew Yang

While I’m still not eager to cover the horse race of Democratic challengers so early in September 2019, the latest CBS poll is interesting in that it shows Sen. Elizabeth Warren gaining ground on former Vice President Joe Biden.


CBS described Biden as now clinging to a narrow lead over Warren in the network’s estimate of convention delegates.

“Warren has gained delegate share as supporters of other, lower-tier candidates have been switching their preferences toward her,” CBS News reported.


Biden reportedly has an estimated 600 delegates of those available through Super Tuesday, on March 3, 2020, while Warren has 545.