Environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer’s enormous financial effort to prevent President-elect Donald Trump failed in epic fashion Tuesday.
The Democratic megadonor spent more than $75 million on this year’s election, with most of his efforts going toward registering millennials to vote, mostly on environmental issues. His money didn’t seem to matter, because Trump bulldozed his way through the financial clutter on his march to the White House.
Steyer, who accumulated most of his wealth as a hedge fund manager, also shoveled more than $56 million into elections on the local, state, and national level, according to Opensecrets.org.
His contributions dwarfed those made by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who donated the second most amount of money this election year, dumping $47 million on Republican candidates. Steyer also outspent hedge fund manager Donald Sussman $34 million donations to various Democratic candidates, including groups supporting Hillary Clinton’s Democratic presidential bid.
The wealthy progressive said his political action committee, NextGen Climate, registered 1 million voters, including nearly 750,000 in California and about 300,000 in battleground states. Steyer called the surge a “positive signal about the future of our country.”
His political groups partnered with community groups such as Planned Parenthood, Latino Community Foundation, Democratic Party chapters, among other liberal groups.
The former hedge fund manager is focusing his campaign on seven swing states, from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Nevada. The swing state push, Steyer said, is part of NextGen’s $25 million initiative to engage young people and “awaken our sleeping progressive giant.”
The California-billionaire’s efforts were all for naught, however, as Clinton and the Democrats were roundly defeated by Trump and Republicans this election year.
Trump won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, garnering nearly 70,000 more votes than Clinton. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey also won his re-election contest against Democratic opponent, Katie McGinty, making matters even worse for Steyer and his ilk.
The California-based politico oftentimes compares himself to David in a David and Goliath-like fight against wealthy conservative groups working to influence climate policy issues.
“I see this as a David and Goliath situation,” Steyer said in an interview on This Golden State, a podcast hosted by former journalist and communications consultant Randy Shandobil.
He has also been accused of using his money to purchase a foothold in the Democratic National Committee.
The Energy and Environment Legal Institute, for instance, published a report in July showing Steyer used tens of millions of dollars in donations to environmental groups, candidates and political parties in an effort to make the U.S. coal-free.
Steyer funded the Democratic National Committee, the report stated, and the purchase of the Democratic National Committee’s 2016 campaign platform on climate change and renewable energy. The DNC, the report states, “adopted the Steyer agenda word for word.”
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