AP Photo/John Minchillo
Who is Tom Steyer?
Current job: Billionaire environmental activist and political megadonor.
Family: Steyer is married to his wife Kathryn Taylor, and together they have four grown children.
Hometown: New York, NY, but he lives in San Francisco, California.
Political party: Democratic.
Previous jobs: Former hedge-fund investor.
Who is Tom Steyer’s direct competition for the nomination?
Based on a recurring series of national surveys we conduct, we can figure out who the other candidates competing in Steyer’s lane are, and who the broader opponents are within the party.
Steyer only recently declared his entrance in the race and we’ve included him in recent editions of the survey. As it stands, we have inadequate information to draw conclusions about the viability of his candidacy and the direct competition that exists within the declared candidates.
INSIDER has been conducting a recurring poll through SurveyMonkey Audience on a national sample to find out how different candidate’s constituencies overlap. We ask people whether they are familiar with a candidate, whether they would be satisfied or unsatisfied with that candidate as nominee, and sometimes we also ask whether they think that person would win or lose in a general election against President Donald Trump.
What are Tom Steyer’s policy positions?
- On healthcare:
- On climate change:
- Steyer is pledging to declare climate change a national emergency on his first day in office, which differs from other candidates’ plans as it relies on the emergency powers of the presidency.
- "On day one, we’d do a bunch of things including reentering [the Paris climate accords], freeze and reverse the Trump rulemaking, we’d establish a cabinet level position, put a climate lens on all purchasing … and if Congress couldn’t pass a Green New Deal, [we] would set clean energy standards," Steyer said of his climate plan. The campaign has estimated it would cost $2.3 trillion.
- The billionaire environmental activist is also calling for stronger international cooperation to combat climate change.
- Steyer founded an environmentally-focused political action committee in 2013 that became NextGen America, which spent $96 million during the 2016 election cycle to support climate-friendly candidates, mostly Democrats.
- On campaign finance:
- Steyer wants to overturn the "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision to reduce the influence of money in politics.
- In a press release announcing his candidacy, Steyer said, "The only way for us to solve the urgent problems facing our country is to loosen the stranglehold that corporations have over our politicians and return political power to the American people."
- The billionaire liberal activist would also restructure the Federal Election Commission, characterizing it in his plan as currently "plagued by internal dysfunction" and "broken."
- On abortion:
- The Democratic megadonor wants to protect a woman’s right to abortion, vowing in 2017 that his NextGen group wouldn’t "work for a single candidate who is not pro-choice."
- On guns:
- Steyer is supportive of pushing for more gun control laws, having called on young voters after the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Fl to push "for gun reform now" in a Facebook video.
- On criminal justice reform:
- Steyer has criticized the cost of bail as being needlessly high for people of color. He said in a tweet: "Bail in this country is injustice perpetuated by greed and motivated by oppression. Black, brown, and poor people are being held because they do not have the resources to be free. There is no justice in our justice system."
- On foreign policy:
- On taxes:
- The California billionaire is in favor of raising taxes on the wealthy, though its not clear to what extent.
- Back in 2017, Steyer called on Trump to raise his taxes during the Republican push to pass the tax law.
- "We need to make sure that we’re not in a society that is unbalanced and unfair and where the richest Americans are taking advantage of everybody else," Steyer said at the time.
What are Tom Steyer’s political successes?
- Steyer lobbied then-President Barack Obama to not approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, arguing it’d be too harmful to the environment. Obama shot down the project, but its been revived under Trump.
- He spent over $100 million to support Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterms, helping the party recapture the House. Steyer has also been forcefully advocating for Trump’s impeachment, further thrusting the debate onto the national stage.
How much money has Tom Steyer raised?
He has not filed with the Federal Election Commission, but Steyer will reportedly spend $100 million of his fortune to run.
Could Tom Steyer beat Donald Trump?
INSIDER doesn’t have enough polling data available, but will have details on this once we assemble a significantly sized base of respondents familiar with him.
Read more of our stories on Tom Steyer:
- A viral tweetstorm argued that 2020 Democrats should focus exclusively on the moral case against Trump and not on his policies. There’s no reason they can’t do both.
- Julián Castro is running for president in 2020. Here’s everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition.
- Pete Buttigieg is running for president in 2020. Here’s everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition.