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The Resistance Now: Democratic donor to spend millions in youth vote drive

San Francisco activists call for the impeachment of Donald Trump.
San Francisco activists call for the impeachment of Donald Trump. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Millions to be spent on millennials before midterms

The billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer has announced he’s pumping $30m into getting out the youth vote in the 2018 midterm elections.

“The most important task for me, the task which I feel called to do is organizing,” Steyer said. “And mobilizing America’s voters. They have got to be the most powerful force in our politics.”

Steyer will use his NextGen progressive organization to try to boost the number of millennial voters in key constituencies, Politico reported. He is particularly focusing on House speaker Paul Ryan and the Virginia Republican congresswoman Barbara Comstock.

In October Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, launched an “eight-figure” ad campaign, in all 50 states, calling for Donald Trump to be impeached. More than 4 million people have signed a petition.

London not calling

Trump claimed this week that he cancelled his visit to London because he didn’t agree with the cost and location of the new US embassy. But it’s likely the threat of mass protests by activists was just as much of a factor.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, put it nicely.

“It appears that President Trump got the message from the many Londoners who love and admire America and Americans but find his policies and actions the polar opposite of our city’s values of inclusion, diversity and tolerance,” Khan said on Friday.

Donald Trump and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Donald Trump and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. Photograph: Reuters

“His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests. This just reinforces what a mistake it was for [Prime Minister] Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump would still visit the UK and that the two countries were “working to finalise a date”. Don’t expect a visit soon.

What we’re reading

• “Donald Trump’s first year in the White House has shown Republicans to be the real drivers of identity politics,” writes Lucia Graves – not Democrats. Graves says Trump’s support for the wealthy, for an accused child molester and his refusal to condemn white nationalists show he “is carrying off the most shameless form of identity politics of all: protecting entrenched power and its abuse”.

The US Capitol building
The Capitol building. With some birds in front of it. Photograph: UPI / Barcroft Images

• Another boost to Steyer’s vote effort is highlighted by Matthew Rozsa at Salon. With a large number of Republicans retiring, other data points also bode ill for Republicans, Rozsa says: “Since 1962, the average loss of House seats for the incumbent president’s party when the president’s approval rating is under 50% has been 40.” Democrats need to gain 24 seats to win control of the House.

This article titled "The Resistance Now: Democratic donor to spend millions in youth vote drive" was written by Adam Gabbatt, for theguardian.com on Saturday 13 January 2018 02.00pm

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