Billionaire left-wing mega-donor Tom Steyer became the sixth candidate to qualify for next week’s Democrat debate in Iowa on Thursday — though it is not clear that the debate will be held as scheduled, due to impeachment.
Politico reported Thursday that Steyer had qualified because he met the polling threshold. The Democratic National Committee raised the minimum standard to 5% (from 4%) in at least four different polls in early primary states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina — and to 225,000 individual donors, and 1,000 in at least 20 states (up from 200,000 individual donors, and 800 in at least 20 states).
Ironically, the polls that put Steyer over the top were taken by Fox News, as Politico reported (original links):
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.
In a second new poll, in South Carolina, Biden is well ahead with 36 percent of the vote. But Steyer is in second place with 15 percent, jockeying with Sanders (14 percent) and Warren (10 percent).
No other candidate cracks double digits. Buttigieg is well back in fifth, at 4 percent, with no other candidate higher than 2 percent.
Steyer is languishing in ninth place nationwide with only 2.2%, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average.
The debate is scheduled for Jan. 14. However, it may be rescheduled because several participants — notably Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Amy Kloubuchar (D-MN) — would be required to be in Washington, DC, if the Senate holds an impeachment trial. Former Vice President Joe Biden might also be required to be in Washington, as President Trump has said he wants to call Biden and his son, Hunter, as witnesses.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was reported Thursday to have told Republicans to expect a trial next week.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.