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NDTC founder and CEO Kelly Dietrich during a training session. Photo courtesy of NDTC

The National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC), which makes a free online candidate training program, plans to spend $4 million in 2018 in the hopes of getting 50,000 Dems to use their services to run for office.

Why it matters: The digital approach could help the party attract younger candidates — ultimately helping address the Democrats' old-people problem.

Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos is supporting NDTC in their efforts to assist Dems in claiming some of the 518,000 elected official positions next year, all in the hopes of helping the party regain some of the seats they've lost to Republicans at every level over the last 10 years.

By the numbers:

  • Some of the $4 million will go toward creating more interactive training sessions for the group's free online training program, but an estimated $600,000 of that will be used for NDTC in-person training sessions inspired by Rep. Bustos' "Build the Bench" program.
  • The seven states the group is targeting in the first few weeks of 2018 include Indiana, Massachusetts, Texas, Michigan, Idaho, Missouri and Wyoming.
  • More than 10,000 Dems have signed up for NDTC training since the group started in 2016.

What they're saying: "Democrats clearly have momentum on their side," said Kelly Dietrich, founder and CEO of NDTC."While we can ride the momentum, we can't rely on it. We need to recruit candidates for every race up and down the ballot, but just as importantly we must stand with and invest in those who we recruit."

Go deeper

UN poll: Most see climate change as global emergency amid pandemic

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) fronts a Fridays For Future protest at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm in September. Photo: Jonathan Nacksrtrand/AFP via Getty Images

64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a United Nations poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S. where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.