Pearl Jam has Trump in its crosshairs

Pearl Jam had originally hoped to stage a concert tour through some of the American battleground states to  stage a a get-out-the-vote campaign in support of the Biden Campaign.

COVID killed that idea but the band is still in full political mode.

“If we’re a band who does well in the swing states, then that also means that we’re not just playing to an audience of progressives — if they’re swinging, we’ve got a broad audience there,” said Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam’s lead singer, describing the band’s ability to reach the kinds of voters who could decide the election.

The group has set up a political operation, PJ Votes to encourage people to vote. The band knows that its fans are mostly in their 40s and that many are already likely to vote. So it is challenging each fan to reach out to three friends, not only getting them to register but also ensuring that they vote.

“What we’ve attempted to do is really just bring it back down to basics and encourage people to, again, think about what’s important to them,” Mr. Vedder said. “And be active and be patient and realize that this election is going to be different than any other.”

Pearl Jam’s effort is sophisticated. It follows many of the best practices of modern political campaigns. People can sign up by texting a five-digit number, the same way they can for Joseph R. Biden Jr. or President Trump. The group is harnessing data gleaned from its social media following and rabid fan base, and has partnered with seasoned Democratic operatives like Whitney Williams, a former candidate for governor in Montana, and local civic groups such as Make the Road Pennsylvania.

Pearl Jam has even registered as a political advertiser on Facebook, spending more than $17,000 in the past week alone.

Pearl Jam was politically active in the 2018 mid term elections. Then Eddie Vedder addressed a Montana audience about registering to vote.

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