Billionaire Steyer Adding $10 Million to Trump Impeachment Drive

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Tom Steyer plans to spend an additional $10 million on helping Democrats take control of the House by attempting to drive up turnout among infrequent voters motivated by the idea of impeaching President Donald Trump.

That will be on top of $110 million Steyer has already pledged for the November elections through his two political organizations, Need to Impeach and NextGen America, his effort to get young voters to the polls in 11 states. That makes Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, one of the biggest players in Democratic politics.

"We’re going to talk to every single one of our supporters and encourage them to cast a ballot by the time polls close on November 6," Steyer said at an event in Lansing, Michigan.

This marks the next step in Steyer’s effort to help Democrats take control of the House and, he hopes, move closer to impeachment proceedings against the president.

Steyer’s organizations are targeting voters who’ve been less engaged in midterm elections in the past. One group is older, white women and the other is young voters who historically turnout in low numbers in elections. The outreach includes mailers, TV and digital ads, phone calls, and a letter writing campaign. The new investment will also fund 25 paid field organizers to coordinate with volunteers, bringing the total amount Steyer plans to spend on Need to Impeach to $50 million.

Infrequent Voters

"Two out of three of our supporters don’t normally vote in midterm elections," Steyer said. "What they’ve told us is that they don’t see the point in voting for a Congress that doesn’t do anything, and that doesn’t represent their values."

Need to Impeach says it has an email list of 5.5 million members, with an average of 10,000 names per congressional district.

The impeachment drive has put Steyer at odds with Democratic Party leaders who’ve dismissed the idea as a distraction that may end up energizing Trump voters.

Some Republicans are using the impeachment movement to rally their core voters and to raise money. One of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans, Nevada’s Dean Heller, has sent out an appeal to donors saying Democrats want a Senate Majority "for one reason and one reason only. To Impeach President Trump."

Steyer’s group points to polling that shows most Democrats believe the president should be impeached. A July 25 Quinnipiac poll found that 65 percent of Democratic voters would want the House to begin impeachment proceedings against the president if they win back control of the House. The same poll, however, found that just 39 percent of all voters and 42 percent of independents want to impeach the president.

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to win control of the House in the November elections. That will require getting support from independent voters and some disaffected Republicans who are less animated by the impeachment question.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.