A new Fox News poll released on Thursday found that Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden was leading in the early primary state of South Carolina but that long-shot candidate Tom Steyer had suddenly jumped to second place in the state.
“The former vice president receives the backing of 36 percent of primary voters (down 5 points since October),” Fox News reported. “Steyer captures 15 percent, up 11 points. Bernie Sanders gets 14 percent (+4 points) and Elizabeth Warren stands at 10 percent (-2).”
Pollster Daron Shaw told Fox News, “It appears Steyer has spent himself into a potentially relevant position, as he’s knocking on the door of the 15 percent delegate threshold.”
“Steyer’s strong showing comes primarily from black voters and women, as he comes in second to Biden among both of those groups,” Fox News added. “Plus, he’s second only to Sanders among voters under 35.”
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) January 9, 2020
In a separate Fox News poll released on Thursday, Steyer was in third place in Nevada, only trailing Biden and socialist Bernie Sanders.
“First, in the race for the Democratic nomination, Biden tops Sanders by 23-17 percent among Democratic caucusgoers, with both down one percentage point since November,” Fox News reported. “Warren comes in at 12 percent, down from 18 percent — and ties with Tom Steyer for third. Steyer’s 12 percent is up from 5 percent two months ago.”
As a result of his recent surge in the polls, Steyer, a billionaire, has now qualified for next week’s Democrat debate.
Daily Wire Editor at Large Josh Hammer wrote the following about Steyer’s political views back in September:
Perhaps more so than any of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, Steyer’s candidacy revolves around one core issue: Environmentalism. He has made global warming prevention, opposition to the oil and natural gas industries, and a concomitant greater government role in investing in alternative energy sources the central tenets of his public activist profile. Steyer has a less prolific track record and history of commentary on other issues, but all available evidences points toward his being an across-the-board, full-spectrum progressive/leftist. For example, his 2020 campaign website also touts his work in “promot[ing] social justice and increas[ing] participation in our democracy through voter registration and grassroots organizing.”
Steyer tweeted this afternoon: “This campaign is not about me. It’s about the hard-working Americans who want clean air and water, a just economy, and a Washington that works for them. That’s who I’ll be talking about Tuesday night and who I’ll be fighting for every single day in the White House.”
This campaign is not about me. It's about the hard-working Americans who want clean air and water, a just economy, and a Washington that works for them. That's who I'll be talking about Tuesday night and who I'll be fighting for every single day in the White House.
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) January 9, 2020
Steyer trails only Michael Bloomberg, who is worth over $50 billion, in TV ad spending so far in the race as he has spent $116.5 million.
Total TV ad spend by 2020 candidates, through this week:
Bloomberg: $153.1 million
Steyer: $116.5 million
Sanders: $11.7 million
Buttigieg: $11.4 million
Yang: $7.3 million
Warren: $3.7 million
Biden: $3 million
Klobuchar: $2.9 million
Bennet: $1.1 million
Gabbard: $1.1 million
— David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) January 9, 2020
In late November, Steyer told his supporters at a campaign stop in Northwood, Iowa, that he did not want to be president.
“I know this is going to sound a little strange, kind of — I don’t want to be president, but I do want to do things as president,” Steyer said. “You know, I am running because I thought — until this week I was the last person to get in, and I got in because I thought, ‘My God, no one is going to tell the truth to the American people’ and we’re not going to actually deal with the critical issues in front of us and we have to.”
A woman in Northwood told @TomSteyer his odds of being the nominee are very low. What will he do instead?
Steyer: "This is gonna sound a little strange – but I don't want to be President."
He wants to "do things" as President – highlighting his work on the climate crisis. pic.twitter.com/UZ0easFOg5
— Maura Barrett (@MauraBarrettNBC) November 25, 2019
This report has been updated to include additional information.