Steyer's NextGen Climate super PAC, a political group that raises
funds to boost candidates with strong environmental platforms, said
the campaign aims to boost turnout of millennials, who have become
one of the largest potential voter groups.
In the lead-up to the November general election, NextGen will deploy
hundreds of organizers across over 200 colleges to register young
voters and facilitate on-campus voting.
"We are determined that they will be a difference maker," Steyer
told reporters on a conference call.
The group is targeting seven battleground states where Steyer said
millennial voters could "make up the difference in a tight race."
Those states are Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada,
Illinois and Colorado.
Steyer has been the second largest individual political donor in
2016, having spent $13 million so far this year, according to
NextGen said the number of registered millennials has nearly tripled
since 2008 from 17.2 million to 50.3 million, making the demographic
a key political force in 2016.
Climate change and clean energy is an area where there is widespread
NextGen cited a June 2015 poll that found that 73 percent of young
voters want the United States to get 50 percent of its energy from
renewable sources by 2030.
The group has not yet announced which candidates it will endorse in
the presidential or congressional races but said it has challenged
all candidates to say how they would achieve a goal of hitting a 50
percent clean energy target by 2030.
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He said the air and water impacts of fracking, a controversial
drilling technique that has been responsible for a boom in U.S. oil
and natural gas production over the past decade, shows the U.S.
needs to make a faster transition away from fossil fuels.
Steyer said NextGen will spend around $25 million on the months-long
campaign and will launch several other initiatives later in the
Steyer's PAC in 2014 aimed to make climate change into a wedge issue
in the 2014 midterm elections, spending over $70 million with mixed
But with millennial voters turning out in record numbers in the 2016
primaries, Steyer sees a formula for success.
"We need to make sure to carry on that momentum until November," he
(Reporting By Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Chris Reese)
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