On its first anniversary, the Impeach Donald Trump campaign celebrated by announcing that it had more supporters than the National Rifle Association has paying members, according to Newsweek.
Need to Impeach, a campaign founded by Democratic billionaire Tom Steyer, held a small celebratory meeting at a town hall in Newark, New Jersey. The campaign, founded exactly a year ago, intends to pressure Congress into starting impeachment proceedings against Trump. Last week, the impeachment campaign amassed six million signatures, edging the 146-year-old National Rifle Association’s total number of paying members by at least half a million. NRA’s dues-paying membership stands at nearly 5.5 million people.
But Steyer cautioned against getting carried away because of the number of supporters the campaign has garnered, acknowledging that as opposed to the NRA, which depended on big money, Steyer’s movement was a more grassroots-funded campaign.
“I think it’s different because I think that the way that the NRA really works is as much through the money that they spend directly trying to affect elect officials, and this group of people, what we’re really trying to do is to inspire people to get out and vote, to change elections by voting, not by giving money,” Steyer told Newsweek.
“So actually, we’re much more of a ground-up, grassroots organization.”
On its one-year anniversary today, Need to Impeach @Need2Impeach has more supporters (6 million) than the NRA, the campaign's founder @TomSteyer says in Newark #SteyerTownHall pic.twitter.com/0nLSbeDaMg
— Jessica Kwong (@JessicaGKwong) October 20, 2018
The Need to Impeach campaign was launched by Steyer on October 20, 2017, when he broadcast a series of adverts targeting Trump and calling on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against him. Within a week, the campaign received more than a million signatures, and the number of supporters has steadily grown as more and more Americans seem to be getting disillusioned with Trump’s decision-making over the last year. The campaign’s support numbers experienced a steep rise when Trump met Russian president Vladimir Putin in a closed-door meeting in Helsinki earlier this year and then again during Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings earlier this month.
Steyer believes that the key for the impeachment campaign to become successful is for Democrats to win control of the Congress in the midterms. It is probably the one reason that the Democratic billionaire has been campaigning for the midterms everywhere in the country.
“If we don’t flip the House in 2018, it’s a big failure. We’re going to have two more years of this, only worse,” Steyer warned.
The founder warned that unless Democrats came out and voted in the midterms, it would be impossible to impeach Trump before his tenure ends. To this end, he also started a mobilizing campaign for the upcoming midterms, with an initial funding of $10 million back in August.