DES MOINES, IOWA (April 24, 2019) — Today, NextGen America released a memo detailing new voter file-data that shows the enormous impact of its electoral work in Iowa in 2018. With 58 staff and 811 volunteers, NextGen Iowa registered 14,243 young Iowans to vote, knocked on 63,270 doors, and ultimately boosted the 18-35 year-old turnout-rate to 41%. Remarkably, 63% of young Iowans organized by the NextGen field program turned out to vote — 22 points higher than their age-cohort writ large. NextGen’s efforts helped elect Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer as the first female members of Congress representing Iowa in Washington DC.
“In 2018, the young people of Iowa rejected the politics of division and plutocracy pushed by Donald Trump and the GOP,” said NextGen America President Tom Steyer. “Young Iowans are demanding a future where their wages are fair, their air is clean, and the rights of their friends and family, regardless of race, gender, and sexual orientation, are preserved, and NextGen Iowa will be with them every step of the way.”
More information regarding NextGen Iowa efforts can be found here.
Young people will vote — if you actively engage and organize them. In Iowa, youth-turnout (18-35) increased from 28% in 2014 to 41% in 2018 — and 63% of young Iowans organized by NextGen turned out to vote. In the crucial red-to-blue district IA-03, 65% of the young people organized by NextGen voted, compared to 48% of young people in the district overall.
An effective youth program talks to young people where they are. NextGen Iowa ran a 9-week digital-ad program and sent GOTV mail to thousands of unlikely-to-vote Iowans. Young Iowans targeted by NextGen’s digital and mail programs turned out 6 and 16 points higher, respectively, than young Iowans not targeted by those programs.
Make voting accessible to students. NextGen collected thousands of signatures to get 19 early-vote polling-places on campuses. Young people registered by NextGen voted at increasingly higher rates when their colleges or universities offered an early voting-site, and when campuses offered both early-vote and Election-Day polling-location, turn-out increased 27 points.
Successful Democratic candidates will need to galvanize young people to win Iowa in 2020, and NextGen is already on the ground putting in the work to help them. Ahead of the Presidential caucuses, NextGen Iowa is committed to mobilizing young people on college campuses and in communities to vote in local elections, such as the SD-30 special election, fighting the GOP attacks on student voting rights, and advocating for more on-campus polling locations.
NextGen’s efforts resulted in an expanded electorate made up of many first-time voters who are necessary to defeat Donald Trump and the GOP in 2020 and beyond. The next fight for our nation’s future is just around the corner, and NextGen is already hard at work engaging young voters to make an even larger impact in 2020.
NextGen America Founded originally as NextGen Climate by businessperson and philanthropist Tom Steyer in 2013, NextGen America acts politically to prevent climate disaster, promote prosperity, and protect the fundamental rights of every American.