Steyer-backed group launches $350,000 voter outreach campaign in California

Steyer-backed group launches $350,000 voter outreach campaign in California
© Greg Nash

Billionaire Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer’s group is launching a $350,000 campaign to boost turnout among young voters in four California House primaries where Democrats fear they could miss the November ballot.

NextGen America is rolling out a campaign to urge 200,000 young voters to go to the polls on June 5 in four GOP-held districts: the seats held by Reps. Jeff DenhamJeffrey (Jeff) John DenhamCrazy California an outlier? No, we are the canary in the coal mine Polling editor says news outlets should be more cautious calling elections Rep. Valadao officially concedes in California race MORE and Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherMueller probe: A timeline from beginning to end Progressives come to Omar's defense Expanding Social Security: Popular from sea to shining sea MORE as well as the seats being vacated by retiring Reps. Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceFormer GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lawmakers propose banning shark fin trade Bottom Line MORE and Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaThe Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles Senate throws hundreds of Trump nominees into limbo MORE. All four districts were carried by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Former Bush assistant: Mueller report makes Obama look 'just plain bad' Seth Rich's brother calls for those pushing conspiracy to 'take responsibility' MORE in 2016 and are part of Democrats’ planned path to taking back the House.

NextGen will have 20 organizers on the ground in those four districts and the new program includes direct mail and digital ads. Steyer’s group will also do heavy voter outreach on college campuses that are still in session, which includes sending hundreds of thousands of text messages and knocking on 15,000 doors by the June primary.

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Democrats are growing increasingly worried that they’ll get shut out of the general election thanks to California’s election laws. The state has a top-two primary where all candidates run, regardless of party affiliation, in a single primary with the top two vote-getters advancing to the November election.

The party fears that the large number of Democratic candidates running in each of these primaries will split the vote and lead to two Republicans facing off in the November election.

“Voters in California are fired up like never before, and they have the opportunity to lead progressives across the country with their energy and activism this year,” Steyer said.

“Taking back our government starts in primary elections, and by turning out in droves to the polls, California Democrats will send Trump and the GOP a strong message this June,” he said.

Steyer has been active in the 2018 midterms, vowing to spend $30 million to help Democrats regain the House majority.

California has been a big focus for the environmental activist, who has ruled out his own bid for elected office in the state. His group plans to spend at least $3.5 million to register and mobilize young voters in California, with a big emphasis on the seven GOP-held districts that Clinton won.

Steyer has also been focused on his “Need to Impeach” campaign, where he’s leading the charge to call on members of Congress to support impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE.