Liberal plan to win back Congress hinges on Californias millennials
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By Emily Cadei
March 07, 2018 12:01 AM
The path to a Democrat-controlled Congress most likely runs through California. Liberal philanthropist Tom Steyer believes that path hinges on the state’s nearly 10 million millennials.
The challenge is making sure those young voters show up at the polls in November. Voter turnout traditionally drops precipitously in mid-term elections. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, much of state’s record low voter participation in 2014 was due to abysmally low turnout among young people.
The billionaire former hedge fund manager is aiming to reverse that trend in 2018, and is preparing to spend at least $3.5 million on grassroots outreach to millennials in the state to do it, according to an election plan shared with The Sacramento Bee. As of now, Steyer’s organization, NextGen America, has 15 full-time staff working on its millennial outreach program in the state’s seven Republican congressional districts that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won in 2016. They expect that number to double to 30 full-time staff by November, with another 50 part-time workers.
It is a separate operation from NextGen America’s “Uniting California” partnership with the California Labor Federation, which is targeting the same seven congressional districts, and from Steyer’s Need to Impeach campaign, which has garnered more than 5 million signatures for a petition to impeach President Trump.
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“We really believe in millennials being integral, involved American citizens in our political process,” Steyer said in an interview in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. “Millennials have voted at half the rate of other American citizens and they’re also the biggest age demographic. So the opportunity to make a difference is clearly gigantic.”
Steyer says that’s why his group is reaching out to millennials in 10 pivotal states across the country in 2018, with the aim of getting 250,000 to the polls. The California congressional races amount to roughly a quarter of the 30 House seats NextGen America is targeting. Steyer announced in January he is prepared to invest $30 million, total, in the organizing effort.Read More...