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Although the billionaire and climate activist hit 225,000 unique donors on Friday, he still needs to reach the Democratic National Committee's polling threshold to secure his spot at the Jan. 14 event.
"Today’s achievement is a clear reflection of what we are seeing in the early states — voters are responding to Tom’s messages of tackling the climate crisis and building an economy that creates prosperity for all Americans," Steyer's campaign manager Heather Hargreaves said in a statement.
Steyer tweeted about the achievement on Friday while campaigning in Iowa on his "People Over Profits" tour.
"You did it!" he wrote. "Today our campaign reached the 225,000 donor threshold, a critical step towards qualifying for January's debate in Iowa. Thank you. With your help, we are going to tackle the climate crisis and build an economy that works for ALL Americans."
In addition to garnering the necessary number of voters, Democratic candidates need to reach 5 percent support in at least four DNC-approved polls, or at least 7 percent support in two single-state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina.
So far, Steyer is polling at 5 percent in two of the four polls conducted in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. The DNC raised the qualifying thresholds in December in an effort to narrow the large candidate field, Politico reported.
Should he gain traction in the other two polls, Steyer will debate alongside former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Steyer's campaign said the candidate reached 10 percent support among Democratic primary voters in a recent Morning Consult poll conducted in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada between Dec. 23 and 29.
Nationally, however, Steyer only has 3 percent support, according to the same poll based on 17,787 survey interviews.