Billionaire activist and Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer announced his presidential bid on Tuesday, bringing the total number of candidates to 26.
In January, he said he wouldn’t run and expressed support for Elizabeth Warren. Now, he plans to spend $100 million on his 2020 campaign.
“If we can reduce the influence of corporate money in our democracy, and start to address the devastating impacts of climate change, we can unlock the full potential of the American people and finally solve the many challenges facing our country,” Steyer said on Tuesday.
“The other Democratic candidates for President have many great ideas that will absolutely move our country forward, but we won’t be able to get any of those done until we end the hostile corporate takeover of our democracy.”
Tom Steyer is a former hedge fund manager and longtime Democratic donor known for his “impeach Trump” television ads. His progressive organization “Need to Impeach” has attracted 8 million members in just 2 years.
Steyer is a self-made man whose net worth reached $1.6 billion this year. This similarity to Trump puts him at an immediate disadvantage in the eyes of voters who favor grassroots campaigns and who don’t want to see another rich white man in the Oval Office.
To qualify for a spot in the second round of Democratic debates, Steyer will need to collect 65,000 unique donations and earn 1% support in the polls by the end of the month. To qualify for the third debate, which takes place in September, he will need to amass 130,000 donations and 2% support in the polls.
Steyer might have the cash to make an impact on the 2020 elections, but Republicans don’t expect him to attract much support.
“It doesn’t say much for the whole Democratic Party that the number one Democratic donor took a look around and decided that there’s no one he can support,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for Trump 2020.
Editor’s note: Not a fan, but $100 million is a pretty big piggy bank to play with. If he follows through, expect Steyer to have an impact.