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 DenhamEx-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm Ex-GOP Rep. Denham heads to lobbying firm Crazy California an outlier? No, we are the canary in the coal mine MORE and Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa Ex-GOP lawmakers are face of marijuana blitz Former GOP Rep. Rohrabacher joins board of cannabis company MORE as well as the seats being vacated by retiring Reps. Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceMystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp House panel advances bill to protect elections from foreign interference MORE and Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaIssa's Senate confirmation hearing delayed over concerns about background check The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate Issa says he will run for Congress if not confirmed to trade post by Nov. 3 MORE. All four districts were carried by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats go all out to court young voters for 2020 Pelosi: Whistleblower complaint 'must be addressed immediately' Election meddling has become the new normal of US diplomacy 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 TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE.