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NextGen Florida formally backing Joe Biden for president

The group committed to spending $5.5 million on flipping Florida.

NextGen Florida will formally endorse Joe Biden Wednesday, and with that promised to invest millions flipping Florida blue.

With its endorsement, NextGen America, a political action committee founded by billionaire Tom Steyer, committed to leveraging $5.5 million in Florida. The money will go to registering 55,000 additional young voters.

It’s all in the hopes of taking Florida’s 29 electoral college votes into the Democratic column and away from President Donald Trump.

“Young folks in Florida have struggled under the most corrupt president in modern history and we simply cannot afford another four years of Donald Trump,” said Abel Iraola, press secretary for NextGen Florida.

“Joe Biden has demonstrated his willingness to listen and build bridges, and has stated his commitment to incorporating diverse views that meet the needs of young Floridians and will ensure a sunnier future for the Sunshine State.”

Trump narrowly won Florida in 2016. Moreover every winning presidential candidate from 1996 to present has taken the Sunshine State.

But the state remains an eternal battleground. While Florida went against a national Democratic trend in 2018, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis won only after a machine recount and Republican Rick Scott unseated Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson only after a hand count and a court battle.

That came after NextGen leaders put $9.7 million into Florida’s 2018 races, registering an additional 52,000 voters, knocking on 172,000 doors and sending 1.5 million texts to young voters. That didn’t swing most statewide elections blue but it boosted youth turnout by 14% from the 2014 mid-terms.

Leaders at NextGen see Biden reaching out to young voters in ways that could make a difference. That includes speaking to them on gun safety, climate science, education and the economy.

Along those lines, Biden has proposed 100% loan forgiveness for middle- and working-class recent graduates and a freeze on rent.

He has also connected with popular millennial progressives like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and with Sunrise Movement Executive Director Varshini Prakash.

In contrast, the group sees Trump policies on trans youth, voting rights, immigration and labor tanking him among younger voters in November.

NextGen said a fully activated youth vote would constitute the largest voter bloc in the country, and the national organization plans to spend $45 million ensuring those voters break for Democrats up and down the ballot.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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