3 Reasons Tom Steyer’s 2020 Bid May Already Be Doomed | NTK Network 3 Reasons Tom Steyer’s 2020 Bid May Already Be Doomed

3 Reasons Tom Steyer’s 2020 Bid May Already Be Doomed

He’s a liberal billionaire willing to spend his fortune on a presidential campaign. What could go wrong?

By NTK Staff | 07.09.2019 @1:50pm
3 Reasons Tom Steyer’s 2020 Bid May Already Be Doomed

Tom Steyer, the billionaire megadonor from California, announced Tuesday he is in fact running for president. Steyer’s decision to join the 20-plus person field comes after a January announcement in Iowa that he would not run.

Steyer’s reversal comes after reports that he was unhappy with the field’s ability to elevate issues important to the billionaire. Specifically, Steyer reportedly hoped Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) would gain more traction with his climate change-focused candidacy. Steyer’s organization, NextGen America, began as an environmentalist group.

But Inslee is only mustering about 1 percent in most polls, and Steyer made his move.

There’s no question that Steyer’s money and political organization will help boost his chances in this crowded field. But he faces real challenges when it comes to converting those assets into votes.

CNN lays out three reasons Steyer’s presidential candidacy may be doomed before it really starts.

1. No One Likes Steyer

A big part of Steyer’s problem was that he wasn’t well liked. When likely Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa were asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable view of Steyer, just 19% said favorable, compared to 19% who said unfavorable, leading to a net favorability rating of 0 points.

2. Democrats Aren’t Looking for an Outsider

Back in April (long after Steyer originally said he wouldn’t run), CNN asked potential Democratic primary voters what qualities were important in determining who to support for the Democratic nomination. The item “Can bring an outsider’s perspective to Washington” came in last. In a poll conducted in late January and early February, only 4% of Democrats said that bringing an outsider’s perspective was the most important factor in selecting a nominee.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from February got at Steyer’s profile more directly, asking whether voters would be comfortable or enthusiastic about a “businessman” candidate. Among Democrats, only 31% said that they would be.

3. Steyer’s Liberal, But So Are Other Candidates

Steyer might make more of a splash if he were in the center. He’d be able to offer an alternative to former Vice President Joe Biden, whose polling has weakened since the first debate.

Instead, Steyer is a liberal activist who wants to impeach Trump. That sounds a lot like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who wants to impeach Trump and is running a grassroots activist-style campaign. Unlike Steyer, Warren has already built a campaign and support. She also is a woman running in a primary two years after Democrats nominated a record number of women in congressional primaries.

Sign Up

for NTK updates every week.

View Privacy Policy