Jul 8, 2019

Climate activist Tom Steyer may revive 2020 election bid

Photo: Steve Pope/Getty Images

Billionaire Democratic activist and donor Tom Steyer is preparing to jump into the presidential race as soon as this week, reversing his January decision to stay out, according to several reports.

Why it matters: A well-funded Steyer run would likely include a heavy focus on climate change, though it would be broader.

The billionaire former hedge fund manager has expanded the scope of his work in recent years and now focuses on pushing for Trump's impeachment.

Where it stands: The Atlantic first reported the plan late Sunday night and cautioned that nothing with Steyer is definite until it's definite.

Behind the scenes: Per The Atlantic, Steyer is "frustrated" that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's climate-focused campaign has not gotten more traction. He's around 1% in the polls.

But, but, but: The political opening for a relatively late-starting Steyer bid is quite uncertain.

  • And on the climate front in particular, it's not clear that emphasizing the topic would bring dividends to Steyer's bid.
  • Look what's happening with Inslee. He's certainly made the topic more prominent in the 2020 race — including his push for a climate-focused primary debate that's now supported by many candidates.
  • But Inslee himself has not been moving up in the polls, at least not yet.

Editor's note: This post was corrected to reflect that Tom Steyer is a former hedge fund manager.

Go deeper

Tom Steyer on the issues, in under 500 words

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Billionaire Tom Steyer is a former hedge fund manager who's become known for his philanthropy and liberal activism. In 2017, he launched "Need to Impeach," spending $10 million on a national ad campaign urging Congress to impeach President Trump, according to Forbes. He has since resigned his position to pursue the Democratic nomination.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 25, 2019

Billionaire Tom Steyer launches 2020 presidential campaign

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for for J/P HRO Gala/Getty Images

Billionaire Democratic activist and donor Tom Steyer announced Tuesday that he will enter the 2020 presidential race.

Why it matters: Steyer, whose recent work has focused on impeaching President Trump, promised to sink at least $100 million of his own money into his campaign, via the New York Times, which could instantly make him a player in the race.

Go deeperArrowJul 9, 2019

How Tom Steyer made his fortune

Tom Steyer. Photo: Steve Pope/Getty Images

Tom Steyer, who launched his presidential campaign on Tuesday, was early to the hedge fund game.

The state of play: In general, there are two ways to become a billionaire hedge-fund manager. The first is to be a pirate — raid the Bank of England, bet on a housing collapse, that kind of thing. The returns on those bets can be so enormous, you can make billions even off a relatively small asset base.

Go deeperArrowJul 9, 2019