- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer is spending $110 million on voter outreach prior to the midterm elections — and part of that outreach includes using therapy dogs to persuade college students to vote when the time comes.

“It shouldn’t take cute pups to get you to the polls. But we’ll have some with us anyway! Stop Trump and pet cute pups! Find you polling place,” noted the “Pups to the Polls” project in Pennsylvania in a video that features images of roly-poly puppies, an earnest looking chihuahua and a noble looking Labrador — a persuasive method the group used during the 2016 presidential election.

The canine touch will be on multiple campuses this year.

“Students returning to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus this summer were greeted by therapy dogs for petting. Those lured by the chance to ruffle a dog’s ears were then asked to register to vote — a ‘Pups to the Polls’ gimmick that was just one of several similar events being staged in 11 battleground states by the liberal group NextGen America,” The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Steyer founded NextGen America, which has 800 organizers on 421 campuses in 11 states.

“Young people tend to vote for Democrats, but they also tend stay away during midterm elections. It’s a perennial frustration for the party — one they are trying to overcome as they seek to take control of Congress,” the AP said.

“We’re trying really hard to have this be much more of an infrastructure, organizational thing than a two-month campaign. We’re trying to get the broadest possible democracy, the biggest representation,” Mr. Steyer told the news service.

“The pups reportedly did their jobs, but there’s a difference between fattening voter rolls and getting millennials to show up at the voting booths in November. Only about 50 percent of registered millennial voters plan to take part in the mid-year election, even though they’re among the most energized facets of the ‘resistance.’ Perhaps the dogs could make a repeat appearance at polling places,” advised Emily Zanotti, a reporter for The Daily Wire.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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