Progressive group to spend as much as $45M to turn out young voters

Progressive group to spend as much as $45M to turn out young voters
© Aaron Schwartz

A progressive nonprofit funded mainly by Democratic presidential candidate Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerSouth Carolina woman behind popular Obama slogan says she backs Steyer Overnight Energy: Sanders scores highest on green group's voter guide | Trump's latest wins for farmers may not undo trade damage | Amazon employees defy company to speak on climate change Steyer would have owed M more in taxes under lawmakers' proposal: liberal group MORE is investing $45 million as part of a youth voter turnout campaign ahead of the 2020 election. 

NextGen America said the multimillion-dollar investment will go toward registering, engaging and mobilizing young voters in 11 states to elect Democrats up and down the ballot as part of efforts to elect a Democratic president and deliver control of the Senate and state legislatures across the country to Democrats.

“Yet again, it’s going to come down to young Americans to save the country,” NextGen America Executive Director Ben Wessel said in the Monday announcement. “NextGen America’s 2020 program will beat Trump, flip the Senate, and make sure that our generation has a prayer at a livable planet with a more equitable economy. We absolutely cannot afford to lose this year.”

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The group, founded by Steyer, is focusing the organizing campaign on 11 battleground states: Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Steyer stepped down as president of NextGen after announcing his presidential bid.

The group’s goal is to register at least 270,000 young people, aged 18 to 35, to vote and turn out 330,000 already-registered voters in the identified states. 

The $45 million will fund on-the-ground field organizing on campuses and in communities, digital tactics, and experiment-informed direct mail. In addition to pushing the battleground states to vote blue in the 2020 presidential election, the group is targeting a group of Republican senators. 

NextGen’s push is looking to defeat Republican Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGOP Iowa senator suggests Trump impeachment defense could hurt Biden at caucuses Republicans show little enthusiasm for impeachment witness swap Progressive group targeting vulnerable GOP senators on impeachment witnesses MORE (Iowa), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisProgressive group targeting vulnerable GOP senators on impeachment witnesses Progressive group launches campaign targeting vulnerable GOP senators on impeachment Senate braces for bitter fight over impeachment rules MORE (N.C.), Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyProgressive group targeting vulnerable GOP senators on impeachment witnesses Senate Republicans face pivotal moment on impeachment witnesses Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE (Ariz.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret Collins Meadows: Bolton manuscript leaked 'to manipulate' senators over witness vote Trump team doubles down despite Bolton bombshell Progressive group targeting vulnerable GOP senators on impeachment witnesses MORE (Maine), as well as defend Democratic Sens. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersOn The Trail: Why 2020 is the most important election in our lifetime Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Bipartisan group of senators introduces legislation to boost state cybersecurity leadership MORE (Mich.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne Shaheen2020 forecast: A House switch, a slimmer Senate for GOP — and a bigger win for Trump Lewandowski decides against Senate bid Biden would consider Republican for VP 'but I can't think of one right now' MORE (N.H.). 

The group is also aiming to flip the state legislative chambers in Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.