Jul 31, 2018
Investing in the promotion of issues and strategies that too many establishment Democratic leaders have avoided, billionaire hedge fund manager and activist Tom Steyer announced plans this week to pour $110 million into the 2018 midterm elections with the intent of unseating as many Republicans in Congress as possible and weakening President Donald Trump's hold on power.
Instead of giving money to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and Democratic National Committee (DNC), as detailed in a profile by Politico on Tuesday, Steyer is investing in an aggressive push to register thousands of young voters and engage with like-minded Americans on issues that he believes will drive them to the polls--including the possibility of impeaching Trump once Democrats win majorities in Congress.
While Democratic lawmakers including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have shied away from advocating for impeachment, calling the initiative "premature," polls commissioned by Steyer have found that 59 percent of voters wanted candidates to talk about bringing charges against the president.
Meanwhile, Republican voters polled by Steyer did not express concern that Trump could be impeached if Democrats win the Senate and House.
"There's all this concern in Washington that impeachment is going to rile up Republicans, but our numbers show the opposite. ...It's time to get past the establishment talking points and get to what's really going to win elections," Kevin Mack, lead strategist for Steyer's political action group Need to Impeach, told Politico.
Steyer's other nonprofit group, NextGen America, will focus its resources from the billionaire's new investment on registering thousands of young voters on about 400 college campuses across the country.
NextGen's deputy press secretary, Will Simons, shared some of group's strategy for urging young Americans to vote in November.
\u201cFor 2018, we started EARLY, and by February, we were organizing in dozens of key congressional districts. We know that the #youthvote responds to peer-to-peer organizing, so we set out to connect with hundreds of thousands of young voters 3/\nhttps://t.co/FdOxQlx2Y7\u201d— Will Simons (@Will Simons) 1532996041
\u201cWe've talked about the issues young people care about: cost of college, health care, racial justice, climate...and organized "Keeping Up With the Candidates" #youthvote events with Democratic candidates in 10 competitive races 4/ https://t.co/EVRc7uZsdj\u201d— Will Simons (@Will Simons) 1532996041
\u201cAnd we've seen HUGE #youthvote registration gains in key states like PA, VA, FL, AZ, and WI ...something that doesn't bode well for Republicans running in Nov... 8/\nhttps://t.co/mjDpE3WAVv\u201d— Will Simons (@Will Simons) 1532996041
Steyer has also donated large sums to progressive ballot initiatives and specific candidates. NextGen spent $500,000 on a digital ad campaign and contributed another $500,000 to the political action committee of Andrew Gillum, a Democrat running for governor of Florida who has spoken out in support of Medicare for All, and has bankrolled renewable energy ballot measures in Arizona and Nevada.
The millions of dollars Steyer is pouring into Need to Impeach will go towards phone-banking, emailing, and on-the-ground field organizing efforts, as well as anti-Trump ads that will continue to run in contested districts until November.
The organization already has the attention of many voters who rarely go to the polls, according to Politico:
The Need to Impeach email list alone has already topped 5.5 million, which their research--anyone who signs up with the effort has their information run through a series of voter files and other databases--shows includes a very exact 697,780 infrequent voters in the 63 most competitive House districts.
"Our list is bigger than the NRA's--and we're going to make sure that it votes that way in 2018," Mack said.
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