A left-leaning organization dispatched volunteers to reach out to young voters on dating apps ahead of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court election on Tuesday, NPR reported.
Approximately 20 volunteer daters with NextGen America, a left-leaning Super PAC funded by billionaire Tom Steyer, “went its way through the Badger State” using Hinge, a dating app that allows users to switch locations for free. The volunteers set up their locations in different locations across Wisconsin, but primarily in Democratic-heavy cities such as Milwaukee, Green Bay and Madison, according to local media.
Kristi Johnston, national press secretary for NextGen America, explained how Hinge “has a setup where you are given a certain number of likes per day” and “also at the other end other matches are also swipe right or left.
“So you’ll also get an inbox of people who like you so you both swipe right and then match and from there you can take the conversation however you want,” Johnston told WUWM.
She reportedly curated her profile to “attract Wisconsin games,” including photos of herself in a Cheesehead hat and Green Bay Packers fleece, NPR reported.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of people about my stress, personally, as an organizer around the election, the overall turnout and what the outcome might be,” she added. “So, you know, really bringing them into those conversations, and making them feel that they have a stake in the game, and that they’re part of the organization with us, has been really key for me.”
According to NPR, the online dating tactic is a better way to approach young voters than campaign texting or cold calling, efforts that can be easily overlooked. On dating apps, “it’s okay to talk to strangers and forge real connections.”
The left-leaning group launched the online dating program during the 2020 election in Arizona and relaunched it nationwide during the 2022 midterm elections, WUWM reported. The group said it plans to use dating apps for outreach in key battleground states ahead of the 2024 presidential election, including Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas.
“We’ve identified these states as the states where young people can have the greatest impact and where their votes will carry the most weight,” Johnston said.
Prior to the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, the group also planned to send more than 1.1 million text messages and make calls to young voters between the ages of 18 and 35.
Democrat Janet Protasiewicz ended up winning a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat against Republican Daniel Kelly, giving liberals control of the state’s high court for the first time in 15 years and shattering the fragile 4- 3 of the court. The court’s previous composition came within a vote of overturning President Biden’s victory in the state in 2020.
Protasiewicz notably leaned on her left-wing worldview during her campaign, decrying state election maps as ‘rigged’ and accusing the US Supreme Court of ‘wrongly’ deciding Dobbs decision. Her victory means she will likely be able to weigh in on a challenge to the state’s 1849 abortion ban, which went into effect after the Supreme Court overturned it. Roe vs. Wade.
The election results could also impact how lawmakers redraw the state’s legislative districts ahead of the 2024 presidential election, as well as parental rights, Second Amendment rights and religious freedom. .
The race ended up being the most expensive state court race in American history, topping at least $42 million — nearly triple the previous national record for a court race, according to The Associated Press.