Progressive group to spend as much as $45M to turn out young voters
A progressive nonprofit funded mainly by Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer 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.”
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 Ernst (Iowa), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Martha McSally (Ariz.) and Susan Collins (Maine), as well as defend Democratic Sens. Gary Peters (Mich.) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.).
The group is also aiming to flip the state legislative chambers in Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
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