But don’t take that to the bank yet—Steyer had told people to expect his presidential run in January, and he had even scheduled a trip to Iowa for a kickoff, only to change his mind in the final days before the launch. That resulted in what was perhaps a first in presidential politics: a trip to Iowa to announce he was not running. Instead, Steyer hosted a town hall for his Need to Impeach group, which currently has 8 million members and in the space of two years has become the largest progressive-leaning organization in the country.
Similarly, Steyer had been expected to announce a California Senate run in 2016 and a gubernatorial run in 2018. He had even recorded a commercial for the latter run before pulling the plug. (Multiple people on his staff learned that he was not running then from public reports.)
The 2020 race has remained alluring, though, especially with accepting that there won’t be an open Democratic race for California governor until 2026, and that he’s unlikely to be the top pick for a California Senate seat. At 62 years old, Steyer knows that the time for him to run is now or never, people who’ve spoken to him tell me.