Businessman Tom Steyer appears to have qualified for next Tuesday’s Democratic debate in Iowa while author Marianne Williamson ended her candidacy.
New polls in Nevada and South Carolina released Thursday show Steyer has met the standards set by the Democratic National Committee to be on the stage in Des Moines next week in a debate co-hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register. It will be the final debate before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg had already qualified.
The standards set by the DNC, which have become stricter with each debate, required candidates to have at least 225,000 individual donors. Steyer’s campaign said last week he had reached that threshold.
In polling, candidates had to reach at least 5 percent support in four polls nationally or in any of the first four voting states – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina – or at least 7 percent in any two of those states.
The new polls show Steyer received 12 percent support among like caucus voters in Nevada and 15 percent among likely primary voters in South Carolina.
A billionaire who is primarily self-funding his campaign, Steyer has reportedly spent $10.4 million of the total $10.6 million spent by Democratic candidates on radio and television ads in Nevada and $14 million of the $16.2 million in South Carolina.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and businessman Andrew Yang said they have also met the unique donor standard but have not met the polling qualifications. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg met the polling numbers but is not soliciting any campaign contributions.
Williamson, meanwhile, announced Friday she was quitting the race, a week after laying off her entire campaign staff.
“I stayed in the race to take advantage of every opportunity to share our message,” she said on her website. “With caucuses and primaries about to begin, however, we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our message any more than it is now. The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don’t want to get in the way of a progressive winning any of them.”
Williamson becomes the second candidate in as many weeks to drop out of the race. Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who also served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development in President Barack Obama’s administration, did the same last Thursday.
The field of Democratic contenders, which was once almost 30, now stands at 13.