Skip to content
Search

Latest Stories

Top Stories

Steyer, Bloomberg pledge $60 million to boost turnout

Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer

Both billionaires' efforts will focus in part on registering young voters.

Getty Images

Now there are two New York billionaires with the presidency on their minds who are opening their wallets big-time to register voters in battleground states.

On Monday the progressive advocacy group NextGen America announced plans to spend $45 million in the next year to register and turn out people in 11 states that both the Democratic nominee and President Trump will be targeting. The group was founded and is financed by investor and philanthropist Tom Steyer, who started his Democratic presidential bid in July.

And on Wednesday top aides to Michael Bloomberg signaled that, whether he joins the crowded Democratic field or not in the coming weeks, he will pour between $15 million and $20 million into bolstering the ranks of progressives signed up to vote in just five big purple states.

The back-to-back announcements are the latest reflections of the enormous amounts of cash that will flood the 2020 campaign as well as the expectation that turnout in a handful of places could decide whether Trump is re-elected.


Last week Bloomberg, the media mogul and former mayor, unveiled a $100 million online advertising campaign attacking Trump in four swing states as well.

His additional effort will reportedly seek to register 500,000 black, Latino, Asian, young and rural voters starting early next year in five states the president won in 2016: Michigan and Wisconsin, which he carried by less than a percentage point each; Arizona and North Carolina, where his margin was 3 points; and Texas, which he won by 9 points but has since undergone enough demographic change to give the Democrats hope for their first presidential win in 44 years.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

The Steyer-connected drive will target four of the same states (but not Texas) and also Florida, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Some of those states, notably Maine, were added to the list because the Democrats have an opening to flip Senate seats there.

NextGen America — from which Steyer resigned as president after starting his campaign — says the goal is to sign up at least 270,000 new voters younger than 35 and then get them to the polls along with 330,000 who are already on the rolls.

"If Mike runs, we're going to try to do what we can to run two campaigns simultaneously," Bloomberg's senior advisor Howard Wolfson told the Associated Press. Beyond the Democratic contest, he added, "there's another campaign going on that the president has begun that ends in November that also needs to be engaged. And one of the arguments that we would make on behalf of Mike to primary voters is he is able to wage these two campaigns simultaneously — effectively and simultaneously."

Read More

Trump and Biden at the debate

Our political dysfunction was on display during the debate in the simple fact of the binary choice on stage: Trump vs Biden.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The debate, the political duopoly and the future of American democracy

Johnson is the executive director of the Election Reformers Network, a national nonpartisan organization advancing common-sense reforms to protect elections from polarization.

The talk is all about President Joe Biden’s recent debate performance, whether he’ll be replaced at the top of the ticket and what it all means for the very concerning likelihood of another Trump presidency. These are critical questions.

But Donald Trump is also a symptom of broader dysfunction in our political system. That dysfunction has two key sources: a toxic polarization that elevates cultural warfare over policymaking, and a set of rules that protects the major parties from competition and allows them too much control over elections. These rules entrench the major-party duopoly and preclude the emergence of any alternative political leadership, giving polarization in this country its increasingly existential character.

Keep ReadingShow less
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Voters should be able to take the measure of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., since he is poised to win millions of votes in November.

Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images

Kennedy should have been in the debate – and states need ranked voting

Richie is co-founder and senior advisor of FairVote.

CNN’s presidential debate coincided with a fresh batch of swing-state snapshots that make one thing perfectly clear: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. may be a longshot to be our 47th president and faces his own controversies, yet the 10 percent he’s often achieving in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and other battlegrounds could easily tilt the presidency.

Why did CNN keep him out with impossible-to-meet requirements? The performances, mistruths and misstatements by Joe Biden and Donald Trump would have shocked Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, who managed to debate seven times without any discussion of golf handicaps — a subject better fit for a “Grumpy Old Men” outtake than one of the year’s two scheduled debates.

Keep ReadingShow less
I Voted stickers

Veterans for All Voters advocates for election reforms that enable more people to participate in primaries.

BackyardProduction/Getty Images

Veterans are working to make democracy more representative

Proctor, a Navy veteran, is a volunteer with Veterans for All Voters.

Imagine this: A general election with no negative campaigning and four or five viable candidates (regardless of party affiliation) competing based on their own personal ideas and actions — not simply their level of obstruction or how well they demonize their opponents. In this reformed election process, the candidate with the best ideas and the broadest appeal will win. The result: The exhausted majority will finally be well-represented again.

Keep ReadingShow less
Person voting at a dropbox in Washington, D.C.

A bill moving through Congress would only allow U.S. citizens to vote in D.C. municipal eletions.

Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

The battle over noncitizen voting in America's capital

Rogers is the “data wrangler” at BillTrack50. He previously worked on policy in several government departments.

Should you be allowed to vote if you aren’t an American citizen? Or according to the adage ‘No taxation without representation’, if you pay taxes should you get to choose the representatives who help spend those tax dollars? Those questions are at the heart of the debate over a bill to restrict voting to U.S. citizens.

Keep ReadingShow less
people walking through a polling place

Election workers monitor a little-used polling place in Sandy Springs, Ga., during the state's 2022 primary.

Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

What November election? Half of the U.S. House is already decided.

Troiano is the executive director ofUnite America, a philanthropic venture fund that invests in nonpartisan election reform to foster a more representative and functional government. He’s also the author of “The Primary Solution.”

Last month, Americans were treated to an embarrassing spectacle: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas) tradingpersonal insults related to “fake eyelashes” and a “bleach blonde bad built butch body” during a late-night committee hearing. Some likened it to Bravo’s “Real Housewives” reality TV series, and wondered how it was possible that elected officials could act that way and still be elected to Congress by the voters.

The truth is, the vast majority of us don’t actually elect our House members — not even close. Less than 10 percent of voters in Crockett’s district participated in her 2024 Democratic primary, which all but guaranteed her re-election in the safe blue district. Greene ran unopposed in her GOP primary — meaning she was re-elected without needing to win a single vote. The nearly 600,000 voters in her overwhelmingly red district were denied any meaningful choice. Both contests were decided well before most voters participate in the general election.

Keep ReadingShow less