Tom Steyer’s campaign says he qualifies for October Democratic debate

Billionaire Tom Steyer’s campaign said Sunday he has qualified for the October Democratic presidential primary debate, giving his campaign a much-needed opportunity for publicity as he looks to break out of the bottom of the Democratic field.

The longtime Democratic donor, now the 11th candidate to qualify for the DNC debate, made the cut on Sunday after a CBS News/YouGov poll found him polling at 2% in the early voting state of Nevada, his campaign announced.

“It’s now more clear than ever that Tom’s message is resonating with Americans across the country,” campaign manager Heather Hargreaves wrote in an email to reporters, adding the campaign is “thrilled” Steyer will be able to “share his vision,” in the October debate.

Steyer announced his presidential campaign in July despite originally ruling out a political bid in January. Steyer’s late entry to the race and low initial polling saw him excluded from the September debate stage, despite spending more than $15 million on television and digital advertising in the first two months of his campaign.

Both the October and September debates saw the DNC enforcing a heightened threshold for qualification, requiring candidates to meet 2% in at least four qualifying polls at the national or early state level and at least 130,000 unique donors, including 400 donors from 20 states.

A CNN poll conducted by SSRS last month found Steyer polling at 1%.