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Billionaire Tom Steyer qualifies for October debate stage

Tom Steyer.
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