Climate group reaches midway point in college voter drive

Climate group reaches midway point in college voter drive
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NextGen Climate, a political group focused on climate change, said Tuesday it has established voter outreach teams on 100 colleges in battleground states, halfway to the group’s November goal. 

NextGen in April kicked off a $25 million campaign to get millennials to the polls in favor of candidates who work on climate issues. It plans to organize on more than 200 college campuses in seven battleground states to turn out those voters. 

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As of Tuesday, the group announced, it has hit the midway point toward that goal, with a team established at Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke, Penn. The group notes the school, in northeastern Pennsylvania, is in an area that was once marked by a strong coal mining sector. 

The group has a presence on schools big and small in traditional battleground states like Pennsylvania, Nevada, Iowa, Ohio and New Hampshire, from Big Ten schools like Penn State to community college in like Luzerne County. NextGen hopes to engage voters on at least 203 college campuses in those states, plus Illinois and Colorado, by November.

NextGen’s main funder is billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, who last month endorsed Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Clinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race Saagar Enjeti: Clinton remarks on Gabbard 'shows just how deep the rot in our system goes' MORE’s presidential campaign. 

In April, when NextGen launched the college organizing effort, he said its goal is to take advantage of millennials’ strong position on the need to address climate change.  

“When young people engage in the political conversation, when they turn out and vote, when they use the fact that they are the biggest cohort in this election cycle, incredible things can happen,” he said then.