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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 SteyerBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Late donor surges push election spending projections to new heights New voters surge to the polls 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 ErnstWaPo reporter says GOP has less incentive to go big on COVID-19 relief GOP chairman: Defense bill to include renaming Confederate bases, but not Section 230 repeal Iowa losses underscore Democrats' struggles with attracting rural voters MORE (Iowa), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisRep. Mark Walker announces Senate bid in North Carolina Grassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus McConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge MORE (N.C.), Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGabby Giffords congratulates Mark Kelly with throwback photo of her own swearing-in Mark Kelly sworn in to Senate seat Sen.-elect Mark Kelly visits John McCain's grave ahead of swearing-in MORE (Ariz.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Congress inches closer to virus relief deal Lawmakers pressure leaders to reach COVID-19 relief deal Biden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him MORE (Maine), as well as defend Democratic Sens. Gary PetersGary PetersLawmakers pressure leaders to reach COVID-19 relief deal Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race Hillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk MORE (Mich.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenLawmakers pressure leaders to reach COVID-19 relief deal Top Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: How members of the Armed Services committees fared in Tuesday's elections | Military ballots among those uncounted in too-close-to-call presidential race | Ninth US service member killed by COVID-19 MORE (N.H.). 

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