Steyer says he's hit donor threshold for debate

Terrence Dopp

Billionaire Tom Steyer, a late entry into the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential race, said Tuesday he’s met one of the thresholds to make the party’s next debate in September.

In a statement, Steyer’s campaign said he hit the Democratic National Committee’s requirement of 130,000 individual doors and has averaged 26,000 donors a week since announcing his candidacy five weeks ago. He has yet to hit polling benchmarks.

“Tom reaching this milestone just five weeks into his campaign is proof that his message is resonating with people across the country,” Campaign Manager Heather Hargreaves said in a statement.

Democratic presidential candidate and businessman Tom Steyer, left, talks with a fairgoer before speaking at the Des Moines Register Soapbox during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. 
Steyer said Tuesday he’s met one of the thresholds to make the party’s next debate in September.

Steyer is a former hedge fund manager who has been running a television ad campaign urging the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Speaking on MSNBC on Tuesday, he denied impeachment is a divisive issue and lashed out at court decisions since the 1980s he said gave corporations more influence in government.

“It was really those legal decisions that basically put corporate CEOs in the position of only answering to shareholders,” Steyer said.

The next round of Democratic debates is scheduled for Sept. 12-13 in Houston.

Sanders Asks N.H. to Repeat His 2016 Win There (5:30 A.M.)

Bernie Sanders began his two-day swing through New Hampshire by asking voters there to show the same support for his progressive agenda as they did in 2016, pitching himself as the trailblazer of the top issues in the Democratic Party.

“I laid out an agenda that the establishment said was an extreme agenda,” Sanders said during a town hall in North Conway, New Hampshire. “The people of this state said that agenda makes sense to us. When the people speak, an idea that once seemed radical, turns out not to be quite so radical.”

Sanders, a Vermont senator, won the 2016 New Hampshire primary against Hillary Clinton with 60% of the vote.

Sanders pitched voters his signature policies of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, canceling all student debt and providing universal health care.

These issues have made it to the top of agenda for many of his competitors in the 2020 race for the Democratic nomination, who have embraced a more progressive agenda in an effort to appeal to an increasingly left-leaning electorate that catapulted Sanders’ campaign in 2016. – Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou

With assistance from Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou.