Home 2017 Races Steyer Power Played a Big Role in Virginia’s Huge 2017 Democratic Victories

Steyer Power Played a Big Role in Virginia’s Huge 2017 Democratic Victories


Today’s stunning news — an electoral recount leading to a Democratic Party one seat victory in the last House of Delegates’ race — means that the nearly unthinkable has become reality: the incredibly GOP friendly gerrymandered House of Delegates has gone from 66 Republican and 34 Democratic Party members to a 50/50 split.

Truth is that “victory has many parents” … and there is truth that this is the case with the Virginia elections. Amid the shock and outrage over the Trump kakistocracy, Virginians awoke to the challenge. There were a myriad of really impressive grassroots efforts, knocking on doors and otherwise working to motivate Virginians to get to the polls to elect Democratic party candidates. There were the candidates — a good number of truly impressive House of Delegates candidates who stood up to be counted and worked their hearts out, even in the darkest Red districts.

But Virginia and Virginians didn’t do this alone.  We had help. We had both formal organizations and grass-roots efforts working in support of the state-wide candidates and HoD candidates: sending money, sending postcards, making phone calls, and, many, making trips to Virginia to knock on doors. There are a myriad of organizations that merit a thank you from Virginians for helping tip our House of Delegates toward sanity.

With today’s election results, however, one group seems to merit a special thank you: Tom Steyer’s NextGen America.  NextGen, sort of like the name implied, focused on registering and getting out the vote of the “Next Generation” of Virginia’s leaders: those at college campuses around the Commonwealth. Within that focus, NextGen delivered enough additional voters to — with today’s results — provide more than the margin of victory in three districts.

From a 9 Nov NextGen after the election release:

In addition to the top of the ticket, young voters are responsible for some of the down-ballot victories in the House of Delegates last night. Just a couple examples:

● In Southwest Virginia, Chris Hurst defeated Del. Joseph Yost by about 2,000 votes in HD12. NextGen organizers at Radford University and Virginia Tech registered 3,580 student voters in this district, almost double the margin of victory. Safe to say, students propelled Del.-Elect Hurst to victory.

● In Richmond’s HD68, Dawn Adams won a major upset in GOP-leaning district, eking out a victory by just over 100 votes and becoming the first out lesbian elected to the House of Delegates. NextGen registered 417 students at the University of Richmond in this district. NextGen also targeted 6,325 young people in the district with digital ads to motivate them to vote for progressives, as well as three waves of direct mail.

And, now, the case to be used for years to come when telling your child and the voter behind the door you’re about to know on that “every vote counts”

The 94th House of Delegates has flipped from R to D almost certainly because of increased youth voting.

While Donald Trump can claim much of the credit for Democrats’ victories in Virginia this year, NextGen played a role in the dramatic growth in youth turnout: from 17% in 2009’s statewide election to 34% in 2017.

For helping move Richmond toward sanity, the Commonwealth owes a thanks to the motivated young voters and to NextGen America for helping motivate them.

  • HaroldCh8

    “Billionaires like the Koch brothers meddling with other states elections is wrong-unless I agree with them!”

    • A_Siegel

      1. I will be happy to have an outright ‘banning’ of all such groups/investments.
      2. Koch Brothers approaching $1B for each election cycle — how many times Steyer? (25? 50?)
      3. Btw, there is openness here — Steyer certainly didn’t hide/obscure his links as Kochs do through so many different astroturf / secret venues. (Sort of, btw, how Dominion Energy obscured its plays to influence the vote.)

    • A_Siegel

      PS: Steyer is not ‘meddling’ to reduce his income taxes, enrich himself at the expenses of ‘the other 99%’, etc … So, well, there is a bit of ‘agree with them’ here — Steyer isn’t ‘meddling’ to pollute the air my children breathe, the water that they drink, to worsen their economic futures, ….

      • Right, Steyer is “meddling” to protect the air we breathe,, the water we drink, the future. The Kochs are working to trash all of that for their own personal gain. Good vs. evil, basically.

        • HaroldCh8

          Yeah. Sure he is.


          “Mr. Steyer, a billionaire former hedge fund manager, emerged this election season as the green-minded answer to Charles G. and David H. Koch, the patrons of conservative Republican politics, after vowing that he would sell off his investments in companies that generate fossil fuels like coal.

          But an examination of those investments shows that even after his highly public divestment, the coal-related projects his firm bankrolled will generate tens of millions of tons of carbon pollution for years, if not decades, to come.

          Over the past 15 years, Mr. Steyer’s fund, Farallon Capital Management, has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into companies that operate coal mines and coal-fired power plants from Indonesia to China, records and interviews show.”

          My original statement still stands albeit with a minor modification.

          “Billionaires like the Koch brothers profiting from destructive extractive industry is wrong-unless I agree with them!”

          “Good vs evil basically” huh?

          • Let’s see the cartoon-villain Koch brothers do any of the following:


            “Tom stepped down from his business in 2012 and made a commitment to dedicate himself full time to take action on what he feels is the defining issue for the next generation — and has committed to giving away the bulk of his financial blessings to philanthropy and public interest causes. ”

            “Tom does not have an ownership stake in Farallon Capital Management, which reflects the fact that when Tom left Farallon he sold his management stake and directed that his investment holdings be divested from Farallon’s tar-sands and coal-related financial positions. Moreover, since directing Farallon to divest the coal and tar-sands holdings, Tom expanded the divestment directive to include all of his fossil fuel energy holdings and as of this month he will be divested out of fossil fuels all together.”

            “Tom publicly identified coal and tar sands as those are the fossil fuels that are having a specific impact on climate and where the battle for our kids is being fought — he then expanded his divestment at the beginning of this year because he felt it was simply the right thing to do.”

  • Rational Lefty

    This Steyer guy is an example of the type of wealthy people I admire – using his money for philanthropy, helping make this world a better place.

    • Exactly; Steyer is the polar opposite of the Koch brothers, who use their fortunes for evil, environmental destruction, etc. Steyer uses his for good.