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Climate activist Tom Steyer may revive 2020 election bid

Tom Steyer
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.