Anti-Trump billionaire Tom Steyer (D) launched his presidential campaign in July of last year based in large part on his personal campaign to have President Trump impeached.

Considered a long shot, he irritated both the Democrat establishment and progressives.

The establishment didn’t like him stirring the impeachment pot at a time when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was still trying to avoid it, and progressives were upset that a billionaire was challenging their favorite millionaires Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Democrat primary voters are reportedly desperate to find a candidate, any candidate, that they feel can beat Trump.  Steyer is apparently the latest one they are trying on for size as he’s seeing a surge in support in two early primary states. And, as a result, he has met the requirements to appear in the next Democrat debate.

In South Carolina, Steyer has surged ahead of both Warren and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg.

CBS News reports:

Billionaire Tom Steyer’s long-shot candidacy for the Democratic nomination received a boost this week when a Fox News poll indicated he has surged to second place in South Carolina. The state’s first-in-the-South primary, which will be held on February 29th, is seen as a crucial test of support among African American voters for the Democratic candidates.

. . . . And while the Fox News poll has him at 15% support in South Carolina, an 11-point rise since October, he’s still 21 points behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the state. Still, the poll had him as one of only three candidates registering support in the double digits, alongside Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Additionally, Steyer is seeing surging poll numbers in Nevada, where he ties for third place with Warren.  Biden and Bernie are first and second.

Politico reports:

Billionaire Tom Steyer has qualified for next week’s Democratic presidential debate on the strength of an apparent polling surge in two early-nominating states.

. . . . In a new Fox News poll in Nevada, former Vice President Joe Biden leads Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 23 percent to 17 percent. Steyer is tied for third place with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), with both at 12 percent.

Former South Bend (Ind.) Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a distant fifth at 6 percent, followed by Andrew Yang’s 4 percent.

The candidates can qualify for the next debate by either hitting 5% in four DNC-approved polls or by hitting 7% in two early state polls. They also need at least 225,000 unique donors. By hitting double digits in these two early state polls, Steyer makes the cut (presumably he has the requisite donors).

Politico continues:

Candidates can qualify for the debate, which is set to be on Jan. 14 in Iowa, by hitting 5 percent in four polls approved by the Democratic National Committee — or 7 percent in two early state polls. Candidates also need to hit 225,000 unique donors.

Steyer hits the early-state polling route through the Fox News polls released on Thursday, and has previously announced that he has hit the donor threshold.

Steyer joins five other candidates who have already qualified for the debate: Biden, Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sanders and Warren.

Steyer is the only candidate who, so far, has fulfilled just the early-state polling route. The other five candidates hit both 7 percent in two early state polls and 5 percent in four polls, early state or national.

 
 
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