Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer said Friday that the economic gains occurring under the Trump administration will make 2018 a "very tough election" for Democrats.
Steyer, who has spent millions on a campaign calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, told CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla that Democrats should not be overconfident going into this year’s midterm elections. Quintanilla questioned whether Steyer’s massive spending could bring about a sweeping victory for Democrats since the economy under Republicans has seen gains in the stock market and in workers’ wages.
"You'll be up against that message from another famous Democratic operative, James Carville, that 'it's the economy, stupid,'" Quintanilla said. "Why aren't you worried about that?"
"Listen, I think anybody who's a Democrat and is overconfident about November 6, 2018, is wrong," Steyer replied. "I agree with your point that this is going to be a very tough election."
"This is going to be a hotly contested election. It's going to be two dramatically different views of the country and our values," he continued. "You talk about the stock market? The stock market basically benefits rich people, and so it is going to be highly contested. I completely agree with you, and I think anybody who is, you know, overconfident or taking anything for granted is wrong."
Steyer is a billionaire hedge fund manager who has backed various liberal candidates and causes, and he started NextGen America to advocate for action on climate change. Steyer has spent $20 million on his "Need to Impeach" campaign against Trump, despite Democratic leaders having pushed him not to maintain a hard line on impeachment.
Steyer is shifting his spending away from the Democratic National Committee, saying this week he won’t donate to the national committee this year because the party caved on the government shutdown. Earlier this month, he pledged $30 million to increase turnout of young voters.