Washington — Billionaire investor and Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer is aiming for a first- or second-place finish in this week's Nevada caucuses, saying Sunday he is hoping the time he's spent meeting voters in the state face-to-face will pay off.
"I want to come in first or second," Steyer said on "Face the Nation." "I've spent more time in Nevada than any other candidate. We have a great team on the ground here. I've gone out of my way to try and make sure that I see as many people face to face. And I believe we're putting together the kind of coalition in Nevada and in South Carolina that a Democrat is going to have to put together to win in November of 2020."
Steyer did not perform well in the first two contests of the 2020 presidential nominating process, the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, choosing instead to focus on Nevada and South Carolina. Nevada will hold its caucuses February 22, followed by South Carolina's primary February 29.
Both states are more diverse, and Steyer said he is hoping his message will be more appealing to voters there.
"Both of these states reflect the kind of diversity that is America and that is the Democratic Party," he said. "And I think whoever is going to be the candidate has got to be able to show that he or she can pull together that diverse big tent that is the Democratic Party. And I think that's what we're trying to do here in Nevada, and I know that's what we're trying to do in South Carolina."
Casting a shadow over the Nevada caucuses is the chaos that occurred in Iowa earlier this month, where the reporting of results was delayed due to an issue transmitting results to the Iowa Democratic Party. Results slowly trickled in across the days following the caucuses, and the state party is conducting a partial recanvass of results following requests from Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.
Steyer, however, seemed optimistic Nevada would not be a repeat of Iowa.
"I think that it seems in good shape and we're confident that it's going to work here," he said, adding that 12,000 people cast early ballots Saturday, the first day of Nevada's four-day early-vote period.