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Uh Oh: Guess Who's Underperforming in Early Primary States -- And Who Could Fail to Qualify for Upcoming Debates?

Round two with Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren for me this week, as my previous post dealt with their appalling racial whoppers from last weekend.  According to a new poll from Morning Consult, both women are under-performing among Democratic voters in the early primary/caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.  I'll turn my attention to Mr. Steyer below -- but first, have a look at where the field's two leading ladies stand in those crucial contests:

Within the same survey's national numbers, Warren and Harris are at 14 and nine percent, respectively.  I'm admittedly surprised that Warren, in particular, is having so much trouble in the early states.  Her operation in Iowa is vaunted and serious, and New Hampshire is just a quick hop away from Massachusetts.  Her position in a new YouGov poll is far better.  Regardless, in both portions of the MC data (33% nationally and 35% in early states), gaffe-plagued Grandpa Joe remains steadily in first place.  A new survey of South Carolina Democrats shows him still in the driver's seat, too, thanks to black voters.  As for Tom Steyer's emergence on the radar in the early states, we've covered that in a previous post.  He's poured huge cash into those places, building up a modest base of support.  In order to qualify for the upcoming debate round hosted by ABC News in September, candidates must achieve higher polling and individual donor thresholds.  Steyer is playing that game, thanks to his prodigious resources.  Do the math on this "investment:"

Meanwhile, here's the lay of the land on that front, as things currently stand:

It is unlikely that the debate field will grow much beyond 12 or 13 candidates, as it’s much harder to qualify this time than it was for the previous two debates. Not only do candidates have to meet both the polling and donor requirements, but they also must meet higher thresholds. To qualify, candidates must attract at least 2 percent support in four qualifying national or early-state polls released between June 28 and Aug. 28, and they must also have 130,000 unique donors (including at least 400 individual donors in at least 20 states).1  Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang is the latest to join the ranks of those to make the stage, having gotten his fourth qualifying survey last week. (He already met the donor mark in early July.) And former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro is right on the cusp — he has hit the donor requirement and needs just one more poll.

Steyer is also right on the brink of qualifying, too, with Tulsi Gabbard needing a handful of additional surveys showing her at or above two percent. Already in are Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris, Buttigieg, Booker, O'Rourke, Klobuchar, and Yang.  And based on these metrics, nobody else is terribly close to making the September stage. The winnowing could effectively cut roughly a dozen candidates.  I'd be very surprised if Steyer doesn't make it, and this cynical stunt from Castro should help him surmount this hurdle:

"Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists," he says in the ad, which is narrowly targeted to catch the president's attention where he may be watching.  "Because."  This is really gross causal blame.  The Castro brothers are really on a demagogic roll lately.  Parting thought: Are these sorts of things happening because of rhetoric from people like Julian Castro?  Please note that this incident occurred in the very city where Joaquin released a harassment hit list of Trump supporters.  Based on their own standards, Democrats must be held accountable for the climate of hate:

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