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Could some sweet Steyer cash give Kevin de León a much-needed boost?

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LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 13:  Tom Steyer introduces a panel during the National Clean Energy Summit 6.0 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on August 13, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit 6.0)
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for National Clean
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 13: Tom Steyer introduces a panel during the National Clean Energy Summit 6.0 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on August 13, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit 6.0)

Steyer will have to break off a fat stack if de Leon hopes to compete with Sen. Dianne Feinstein's $10 million war chest.

Every week, Take Two takes a look back at politics in the Golden State. This week:

  • Governor Jerry Brown says he'll send the state's National Guard to our southern border. So why is President Trump calling the decision a "charade?"
  • Democratic bigwigs give the nod to one congressional hopeful in the OC. 
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein has outraised challenger Kevin de Leon by far, but now de Leon has the support of outspoken billionaire Tom Steyer. It's not clear of the nod comes with some of that sweet, sweet Steyer cash, but it's worth asking: if Steyer plops down some green, will it make a difference? Analyst Thad Kousser thinks so:


I think if this endorsement comes along with a seven-figure check or eight-figures, then it makes a difference. I think there's still room. There's a lot of time. This race is going to November, and Dianne Feinstein's bank account isn't that giant. Ten-million dollars? That's not enough to run a real serious campaign in California if Kevin de Leon's going to get any money. 



The reason she has such a commanding lead is [that] he hasn't raised anything. He has like $600 thousand — that's less than most of the congressional candidates are raising as challengers in these contested districts. Kevin de Leon has a great resume, personally, but no money to advertise it right now. 



If Tom Steyer doesn't come through with a big check, other donors will look around and say 'geez, if your closet ally who's a billionaire didn't give you any money, we're not gonna give you money. It's hopeless. If he does give a big check, this jumpstarts a campaign that could get pretty serious pretty quickly. 

Guests: 

  • Thad Kousser, professor of political science at UC San Diego
  • Marisa Lagos, political reporter at KQED
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