Billionaire investor Tom Steyer plans to spend at least $110 million in 2018, making him the “largest single source of campaign cash on the left and placing him on a path to create a parallel party infrastructure with polling, analytics, and staffing capabilities that stand to shape and define the issues the party runs on in November,” reports Politico.
Steyer is amassing a nontraditional voter base that could play a key role in upcoming elections, but his largest goal – impeaching Trump – puts him at odds with Democratic leaders who see fighting for impeachment as a waste of time.
Steyer was the Democratic Party’s largest donor before backing down to focus on his own organizations, Need to Impeach and NextGen America. So far, Steyer has invested $40 million in Need to Impeach, which has an email list of more than 5.5 million. Steyer also dumped $5 million into his For Our Future PAC and donated half a million to Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum – a Democrat in favor of free healthcare and renewable energy.
Combined, Steyer’s organizations employ nearly 1,000 people and have attracted more than 2,000 volunteers.
“Our list is bigger than the NRA’s and we’re going to make sure that it votes that way in 2018,” says Kevin Mack, lead strategist for Need to Impeach.
While Democratic leaders are uncomfortable with Steyer’s bold talk on impeachment, polls show that Republicans aren’t the least bit concerned about it. According to a poll conducted by Steyer’s team, only 21% of Republicans are “extremely worried” that Democrats will impeach Trump if they win control of Congress. More than 40% said they weren’t at all concerned about it.
“In Mack’s view, impeachment can be a factor that ‘incites the base’ and gets them to the polls. Fundamentally, he says that Democratic leaders’ unwillingness to talk impeachment actually hurts them among the Democratic leading voters,” reports Politico.
Need to Impeach will continue airing ads through November, with each buy estimated to cost at least $1 million. In the meantime, NextGen America will focus on getting college students and other young voters to the polls.
“There’s a lot of talk of young voters in this cycle, but not a lot of action,” says NextGen executive director Heather Hargreaves.
NextGen claims to have more than 67,000 targeted young voters in Florida’s 27th district, an area which encompasses most of Miami. Democrats are aiming to fill that seat, which is being vacated by GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.