UPDATED 10:34 AM PT — Monday, November 18, 2019
With the 2020 general elections just under a year away, the country’s largest college campuses are becoming a battleground to lure in new voters. As Democrats look to reclaim the Senate and the Oval Office, they have started undertaking a slew of measures to hopefully win over voters between 18 and 29-years-old.
“Now we’re seeing more than ever in the past is how many young Americans are engaging in American politics and current events,” said Christianne Allen, a columnist for The Daily Caller. “In 2018 midterms, younger voters outvoted older generations.”
As the nation saw during the 2018 midterm elections, these efforts aren’t lost on the youth which saw a 79 percent rise in voter turnout since 2014. This time around, student activists have taken notes on how they can attempt to win over Democrat and conservative voters alike.
Back in 2016, the presidential race between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump came down to just thousands of votes in states with mega-colleges. This includes Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and — most notably — Arizona. Issues quickly arose after Clinton secured the Democrat nomination over Sen. Bernie Sanders.
When she failed to make a single visit to Wisconsin in the months leading up to the election, would-be-Democrat voters seemingly voted for Republican candidate Donald Trump instead. While she did lead her opponent among voters under thirty, Clinton would still lose Michigan by a mere 23,000 votes with Green Party candidate Jill Stein taking 31,000 votes as well.
Billionaire 2020 Democrat candidate Tom Steyer has taken the initiative to show up where Clinton failed to do so with his creation of NextGen America in 2018. NextGen spent $38 million largely on campus-wide events across the country last year alone. The focus of the events was to encourage students to get out and vote, which he credits for helping New Hampshire flip state control blue.
“What we’ve seen is that people under 40 prefer Democrats at kind of a 60/4o rate in the state of New Hampshire,” Steyer explained. “And I think that’s why the Republicans are trying to take away the right of college students to vote here.”
However, the group’s rival conservative organizations like Turning Point USA and Young Americans for Liberty are set to outspend NextGen solely on college recruiting efforts. What is their goal? To convince college students they don’t have to be Democrats in an attempt to sway voters away from liberal candidates enough to help President Trump secure another victory.