“We need to raise the stakes of the election, talk about the role they play in that election and we need to give them the tools to vote,” added Cecil.
Priorities began as the main super PAC for former President Barack Obama in 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 when it watched Democrats get spent 20-to-1 on digital advertising. It is committed to bridging this gap and has increasingly prioritized digital advertising spend to mobilize and engage potential voters. Priorities did not run any television commercials during the last $50 million Midterms and has no plans to do so this time.
In the first year of Biden’s presidency, Priorities raised nearly $28 million across its three entities: the Super PAC and two nonprofit organizations. The group said the sum was a “double” of the amount it raised in 2017, the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Priority advisers noted that their target states this year include several house districts that are likely to decide control of the lower house. After losing the Virginia gubernatorial race and a closer-than-expected finish in New Jersey last fall, the group issued warnings that Democrats would face a swift backlash from voters if they didn’t move forward with Biden’s climate and social spending plans. The agenda remains stalled.
In a November memo, Priorities warned that rare or first-time voters in 2020 who switched to Democrats and away from Trump may not only sit out the midterm elections, but may have been willing to vote for Republicans to control Biden’s power .
“For a lot of people, their main motivation was to beat Trump,” Cecil said. “They have now retired from politics and our job now is to get them back in the mood in creative ways.”
The $30 million digital advertising effort is part of an early wave of pledges from the party’s biggest hitters amid an uphill battle for Democrats to retain control of Congress. On Friday, POLITICO reported that billionaire mega-donor George Soros is pouring $125 million into a super PAC to help Democratic groups and candidates. Soros described his donation to the Democracy PAC group as a “long-term investment” designed to support political work beyond the 2022 election cycle.
“This is our first public commitment on this subject, but I don’t expect it to be our last,” Cecil said.