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Progressive group launches presidential, Senate ads in battleground states

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Progressive group NextGen America on Thursday unveiled a series of new presidential and Senate ads seeking to boost Democrats in battleground states by targeting young voters.

The group is spending more than $1.3 million across six states to boost presidential nominee Joe Biden and six figures on ads in four states backing Democratic Senate candidates.

The ad buy is part of NextGen America’s $11 million pro-Biden advertising program that has been running since June 1.

“Young people are facing a series of crises that we were not responsible for creating, from climate catastrophe to COVID to systemic racism. But we have the power to solve these problems with our ballots,” NextGen America executive director Ben Wessel said in a statement. “Our ads continue to make the case that young people can lead by showing up in record numbers to flip the White House and the Senate.” 

The latest pro-Biden ads will run in Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida — six states President Trump narrowly won four years ago that are battlegrounds again this year.

The ads seek to highlight Biden’s agenda and history, educating young voters on the former vice president’s record and comparing him to Trump on a series of issues, including climate change, criminal justice and health care. 

One of the ads, titled “Let Me Explain,” features a young man who works for NextGen America sitting in a studio offering a plainspoken push for voters to back Biden. 

“My job is to create ads to get you to vote, but to be honest I don’t know why you need convincing,” he says. “Joe Biden said he’d listen to us and he has.” 

The Senate ads the group is launching will back Democrats Sara Gideon in Maine, Mark Kelly in Arizona, Cal Cunningham in North Carolina and Theresa Greenfield in Iowa.

The Democrats are facing off against four of the most vulnerable Senate GOP incumbents up for reelection this year.

A spokesman for Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine.), who is facing Gideon, was dismissive of the NextGen America ad launch in a statement responding to the group’s pro-Gideon ad. 

“NextGen America is solely funded by a California fossil fuel billionaire – one of many progressive billionaires trying to buy Maine’s Senate seat,” Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley said in a statement. “NextGen supports Defunding the Police and is spending at least $2 million in Maine on behalf of Sara Gideon, but Gideon still refuses to say whether she supports defunding the police.”

NextGen America’s ad launch comes after the group released an August survey finding 77 percent of registered voters ages 18-35 across 13 battleground states said they “definitely will vote” in the upcoming elections. The same poll found Biden leads Trump by 27 points among those voters. 

The group’s August poll also found that 56 percent of the voters said they would vote for a Democratic Senate candidate, a 6-point increase from the number who said the same in a July poll.

Tags Arizona Cal Cunningham Donald Trump Joe Biden Mark Kelly Michigan NextGen America North Carolina Pennsylvania Sara Gideon Susan Collins Theresa Greenfield Wisconsin Youth vote

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