Campaign

Progressive group putting $45M behind battleground turnout effort

The liberal Progressive Turnout Project (PTP) is putting $45 million behind an effort to turn out voters who did not cast ballots in 2016 in more than a dozen key battleground states.

PTP, which has raised tens of millions of dollars since its inception in 2015, plans to have canvassers knock on more than 7 million doors in the key presidential battlegrounds of Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

The group will also put money into get-out-the-vote efforts in states with competitive Senate races, such as Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine and North Carolina.

The aim is to encourage left-leaning and independent voters who did not cast ballots in 2016 to turn out for the Democratic ticket in 2020.

"Democrats' path to victory runs through getting infrequent Democratic voters to the polls and expanding our base," said PTP Executive Director Alex Morgan. "We can't rely on the high energy we saw in 2018 to carry over to 2020 unless we start engaging with voters now. Trump is already spending huge sums of money to spread vicious lies and whip up his base. If we wait until September to counter Trump with field efforts, we're toast."

PTP plans to staff up with 1,100 workers nationwide across 66 field offices in 16 states, with training and field offices opening in early 2020 and canvassing beginning in May.

Their goal is to knock on the doors of 7.1 million people who did not vote in the 2016 election, with a focus on young people, Latinos and African Americans.

"We don't waste money on TV ads, direct mail, or anything else that's just white noise to most voters," said Morgan. "We focus our efforts on what works best - multiple in-depth conversations with voters who are disillusioned with politics as usual. Democrats haven't been doing a good job of speaking to them on an intrinsic level beyond broad party platitudes, and Progressive Turnout Project is aiming to change that."

Since forming in 2015, PTP says it has raised $43.9 million, with an average donation of less than $15.

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