A secretive Silicon Valley group, “Mind the Gap,” is aiming to spend $140 million to promote Democratic candidates and oppose President Trump in the 2020 election, according to Recode.
“In 2018, the group, which is led by Stanford law school professor Barbara Fried, raised about $500,000 for 20 different Democratic congressional challengers, many of whom were underdogs to win their bids. Ten of them won. Mind the Gap became a hit in Silicon Valley in particular because it asked tech leaders to fund races where it had calculated each dollar would have the greatest marginal impact on Democrats taking back the House, which synced with the industry’s data-driven thinking.” Recode reported.
For the 2020 election, Mind the Gap is asking its donors to fund three different voter-registration programs: the Voter Participation Center (VPC), the Center for Voter Information (CVI), and Everybody Votes (EV).
In a memo last month, the group told its donors, “At current funding levels, the VPC, CVI, and EV programs together will be the largest voter registration drive in US history. Fully funded, they are projected to add roughly 3,000,000 people to the voter rolls, chiefly from communities of color, and yield 750,000 additional net votes in the November 2020 election in competitive battleground states across the country. Historical data suggest that 40-50% of these new voters will go on to vote in the 2022 elections without any additional campaign or GOTV encouragement.”
The group boasted that “In 2018, we managed to stay out of the news and as far as we know out of Republicans’ sightlines through the entire cycle, notwithstanding that we ended up being one of the top two fundraisers for House races.”
The massive influence of this shadowy Silicon Valley group represents the increasingly powerful influence of big tech in U.S. elections.