Sep 8, 2019

Billionaire Tom Steyer qualifies for October debate stage

Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

2020 Democratic candidate Tom Steyer has qualified for the October debate stage after reaching 2% in Nevada in the latest CBS News/YouGov poll.

The big picture: Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, previously hit the Democratic National Committee's threshold for individual donors, but needed to reach 2% in one more qualifying poll to make it to the next debate. After launching in July, Steyer vowed to spend $100 million of his own money on the campaign — upsetting some grassroots Democratic activists who said the money could go to better use.

  • Steyer is the founder of NextGen America, an environmentally focused nonprofit and political action committee, and has spent millions of dollars bankrolling the "Need to Impeach" campaign.
  • 11 candidates have now qualified for the October debates, meaning they will likely take place over the course of 2 nights. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is one poll away from qualifying.

Worth noting: Steyer was one poll short of qualifying for the third debate, which will take place this week.

Go deeper: Tom Steyer on the issues, in under 500 words

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CNN, NYT to co-host 4th Democratic debates

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at Democratic debate July 30. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

CNN and the New York Times will co-host the 4th round of Democratic debates in October, the Democratic National Committee announced on Friday per a NYT report.

Where it stands: 11 candidates have qualified for the debate so far: Every hopeful onstage at September's debate, plus billionaire Tom Steyer. The event near Columbus, Ohio at Otterbein University will be held on Oct. 15, with a possible second night on Oct. 16. Qualifying candidates must poll at 2% in 4 DNC-approved polls and receive donations from 130,000 unique donors.

Go deeperArrowSep 13, 2019

CNN's October Democratic debate will take place on 1 night

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

October's Democratic primary debates hosted by CNN and the New York Times will be take place on a single night — Oct. 15 — with 12 candidates on stage.

Why it matters: Even as lower-tier candidates have been racing to reach the Democratic National Committee's higher qualification requirements, the crowded stage will further limit the field's ability to stand out. September's debate, which had 10 candidates on stage over 3 hours, only saw 2 candidates, frontrunners Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, get more than 15 minutes of speaking time, per the New York Times.

Go deeperArrowSep 27, 2019

The 2020 candidates who have qualified for the next Democratic debate

Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren. Photos: Scott Olson/Getty Images, Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images, and Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The fourth round of Democratic debates will be held on Oct. 15 in Westerville, Ohio, with 12 candidates onstage, making it the biggest single-night debate to date. 

How it works: This debate had the same requirements as September's. Qualifying candidates must have reached 2% in 4 DNC-approved polls and drawn 130,000 unique donors — including 400 donors in 20 different states. Oct. 1 was the final day to make the cut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 2, 2019