MoveOn Will Spend $32 Million to Back Biden and Other Democrats

The liberal activist group MoveOn will spend more than $32 million this year to back President Biden and Democratic candidates for the House and Senate, the organization’s leader said this week.

MoveOn is planning what its executive director, Rahna Epting, called a “house party strategy” to bring its 10 million supporters together for in-person events in large numbers for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.

The plans, shared first with The New York Times, call for mobilizing members in seven states — six presidential battlegrounds and Ohio, where Senator Sherrod Brown is in a tough re-election fight — along with 26 competitive House districts across the country.

The effort to generate enthusiasm for Mr. Biden’s campaign and congressional Democratic candidates, Ms. Epting said, will focus more on reminders of what former President Donald J. Trump would do if he and Republicans return to power than on promoting Mr. Biden’s record in office.

“The No. 1 thing that unifies MoveOn members is their desire to defeat the radical right and prevent them from gaining governing power,” Ms. Epting said. “The one thing that binds all of our members together is a concern about the opposition and what they’re threatening to do to this country. And I think that’s what turns people out to a national organization to take action and mobilize together.”

MoveOn’s ambitious plans for this year come after it laid off at least 18 people — about 20 percent of its staff — in November as part of what it called a restructuring before the 2024 election cycle.

Founded in 1998 to resist Republican efforts to impeach President Bill Clinton, MoveOn has become ingrained in the progressive firmament in Washington and across the country. Ms. Epting is now a key player in the Democratic endeavor to stop the centrist group No Labels from fielding a 2024 presidential candidate.

In its effort to help Mr. Biden and other Democrats, MoveOn intends to target voters who became eligible to vote or became more active voters after Mr. Trump won the presidency in 2016. This group, which MoveOn calls “surge voters,” tends to vote for Democrats but is less tuned in to political news.

Ms. Epting said that while Democrats have performed relatively well in recent elections, and Mr. Biden has passed several major pieces of legislation, there was a “disconnect” in which polling shows that many voters hold a dim view of his tenure.

“There is enthusiasm out there for the Biden coalition. We saw it show up in 2020,” she said. “We saw it in ’22 where we kept the Senate. We saw it in the Virginia elections. We’ve seen it in these red states on abortion bans. Our job, as we see it, is to ensure that enthusiasm shows up for Biden and Harris in November.”