Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Believe It, You Matter, Part VIII: No Matter What the Polls Say, Act Like Your Candidates Are Ten Points Behind

This OTYCD post originally appeared in August 2018. As we head into 2020, and the fight that it promises, it’s time to repost some classics.

 

No matter what the polls say, always act like your candidates are ten points behind.

 

If you’ve been watching the polls on “generic Democratic Congressional candidates” vs the GOP, you know that they’ve been all over the place–sometimes giving the Dems a huge lead, sometimes showing the GOP closing the gap.

 

Ignore those polls.

 

Ok, let’s be more specific. No matter what’s happening with the polls, always act like the candidates you’re supporting are ten points behind. Even if they’re not.

 

2018 promises to be the most consequential midterm election in several decades, and possibly the most consequential since midterms began. [Do I need to tell you that 2020 will be bigger than 2018? Yeah.]

 

You need to focus and stay focused on your candidates. (You’re using the Core Four technique, yes?)

 

Keep talking to friends and family about them. Keep volunteering for them. Keep donating to them regularly (small sums given monthly are better than a big lump sum given once). Keep boosting them on social media.

 

Stick to your schedule of self-imposed breaks. Burnout is a thing. We need you. Yes, things are bad and this election is crucial, but still, don’t try to do everything all the time or you won’t be able to do anything.

 

And! Keep talking to friends and family about voting, and make sure everyone you know is registered to vote, knows where the polling place is, and knows how they’re getting there on the day.

 

Polls say many things. Don’t be lulled into complacency if your candidates are doing well.  Keep putting in the same amount of time, money, and effort that you’ve put in all along, and encourage everyone you know who’s game to do more than show up and vote to do whatever else they’re willing to do, whatever that is.

 

Stay strong. Stay steady. Stay focused.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Postcard Campaigns · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Choose Your Core Four PLUS a Voting Rights Org to Support in 2020

 

Choose your Core Four*–two Democratic senators and two Democratic house reps, an incumbent and a challenger for each chamber–to support to in 2020. PLUS, choose a voting rights organization to support as well. 

 

From late 2016 until now, we’ve been going to bat for Democratic candidates in individual special elections. Usually, we’ve supported one Democrat at a time.

 

2018 was a big test of our collective resolve. We did well. The work we put in helped shift control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats. Had we failed, Trump would be steaming ahead unchecked. But we didn’t, and he’s now only the third impeached president in American history. (As of this writing, he is awaiting trial in the Senate.)

 

Literally hundreds of races–35 senators (33 plus two special elections), and all 435 House reps–are taking place, and all of them will end on November 3, 2020.

 

We need to fight to keep control of the House of Representatives (likely, but hey, never treat anything as a certainty), and we have a shot at wresting control of the Senate away from Mitch McConnell and the GOP (tough, but doable).

 

We at OTYCD suggest that you prepare for what’s coming by choosing your “Core Four”–four Democratic candidates who will receive the bulk of your efforts–PLUS an organization that actively supports and defends the right to vote.

 

Your Core Four Plus Should Include:

 

Two Democrats for the House of Representatives.

Two Democrats for the Senate.

One incumbent and one challenger for each chamber of Congress.

AND an organization such as Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight, Andrew Gillum’s Forward Florida Action, and Flip the Texas House, which Beto O’Rourke is throwing in with.

 

 

How to Pick Your Core Four

 

There’s no right way or wrong way to choose your Core Four, but we suggest starting in your own backyard, with the members of Congress who represent your state.

 

If you don’t know who your members of Congress are, go to this website and plug your street address into the search engine:

whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

…then research the three names–one House rep and two Senators–that come up.

 

Do you have a good Democratic House Rep? Then embrace him or her.

 

Do you have a lousy House Rep, or is your district’s seat being vacated? Look up the Democratic challengers for the seat and choose one. Look to Ballotpedia.org for help with finding challengers in your federal district.

 

One-third of all senators will be up for re-election in 2020, and there will be two special elections also: One in Arizona, for the seat to which Martha McSally was appointed following the death of John McCain; and one in Georgia, to fill the seat vacated by Johnny Isakson.

 

It’s possible that at least one of your senators (and possibly both) is due to run (but scroll down for a list of states where neither senator has to run).

 

Is one or both of your senators up for re-election? Are they good Dems? If so, embrace them and get behind them.

 

Is your senator who’s running for re-election a lousy senator? Learn about the Democratic challengers for the seat, and be ready to help a challenger however you can. As always, Ballotpedia.org is your friend here.

 

Your help can take the form of time, money, word of mouth, or some combination of the three. But you need to choose your four Democrats, and you need to think seriously about how you will juggle the needs of all four, plus the voting rights organization.

 

You’ll need to sit down and plot this out as you might plot a semester’s course schedule in college. The demands of the four candidates will overlap and they’ll all come due at the same time–in the weeks and days leading up to November 3, 2020. You’ll also have to factor in appointments and life events of your own, too, of course.

 

 

Choosing your Core Four: A Test Case

 

Let’s say you live in California.

 

Your House Rep is up for re-election because they all are. Is yours a good Democrat? Then you have your House incumbent settled.

 

If your House Rep is not a good Democrat, or is a lousy Republican, or is retiring, check Ballotpedia and see who’s challenging for the seat.

 

Let’s assume for the sake of this example that your House Rep is a good Dem. There’s one of your four settled.

 

Now look for a challenger who’s aiming to take a terrible House Republican out.

 

How about Tedra Cobb? She hopes to push freshman House Rep Elise Stefanik out of New York’s 21st Congressional District. Stefanik, you will recall, made a fool of herself by going Full Metal Trumpista during the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry at the tail of 2019. Decent choice. Allocate time and money to Cobb. There. You’ve chosen your two House Dems, one incumbent and one challenger.

 

 

Now turn to the senators. It so happens that neither of the incumbent senators from California are up for re-election in 2020. You are free to devote your resources elsewhere.

 

Doug Jones of Alabama is up in 2020, and he’s regarded as the most vulnerable sitting Democratic Senator. How about you get behind him?

 

Now look for a candidate who hopes to push out a terrible sitting Republican Senator. You’re spoiled for choice here, truly. Maybe consider Jaime Harrison, who’s running against Lindsay Graham in South Carolina.

 

And there’s your Core Four: Your good incumbent Democratic House Rep, Tedra Cobb in New York state, Doug Jones in Alabama, and Jaime Harrison in South Carolina.

 

Of course, you can choose more than four Congressional candidates to back. But the idea here is to help you focus.

 

If you can take on more than four candidates, do it. But four is just enough, in our opinion–more than one, but still a number small enough to count on one hand.

 

Because it’s 2020, and because fighting dirty is kind of the Republican brand now, we’re asking you to pick a Core Four Plus, with the plus being an organization that fights for voting rights. We named three above, but they’re not the only three that are out there. We will devote a separate, periodically updated post that lists voting rights orgs, and we’ll link it here in a few places once it’s ready.

 

You can certainly look to orgs such as Swing Left, Sister District, Emily’s List, and the like to help you make your choices. The main thing is nowrightnow is the time to think seriously about those choices.

 

 

Also, if you live in one of the states listed below, neither of your Senators is up for re-election, and you can devote your resources to incumbents and candidates in other states:

 

California

Connecticut

New York state

Florida

Indiana

Maryland

Missouri

North Dakota

Nevada

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Washington state

Wisconsin

Utah

Vermont

 

* Our ‘Core Four’ only covers federal Congress races. You might have other important races happening at the state and local level–for governor, attorney general, mayor, what have you. Please don’t neglect those races.

 

 

 

See the website for Ballotpedia.org:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

Visit the website of Swing Left, which focuses on taking back the House of Representatives:

https://swingleft.org

 

Visit the website of Sister District, which connects you with districts and regions near you with races that could use your support:

Home

 

Visit the website of Emily’s List, which helps elect pro-choice Democratic women to office:

https://www.emilyslist.org

 

See OTYCD‘s past posts on picking House Reps and Senators to support in 2018, and on starting a 2018 fund:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/start-scouting-for-senators-who-you-can-donate-time-and-money-to-in-2018/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/think-about-which-house-reps-to-support-or-oppose-in-2018/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/start-a-2018-fund/

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections

Support M.J. Hegar’s Bid to Unseat Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn

Support M.J. Hegar’s bid to unseat Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn.

 

If M.J. Hegar seems familiar, she should. She was featured in that amazing campaign video, Doors, which went viral in 2018.

 

Hegar lost the House of Representatives race for which she made that ad. (The final tally was 50.6 to 47.7, so, close, but not enough to win.) Undaunted, she’s now aiming at Senator John Cornyn, who’s up for re-election in 2020.

 

She’s picked a hard row to hoe. The Cook Political Report rates Cornyn’s seat as Solid Republican. And while Cornyn has racked up more than his share of jackholery in his time in the Senate, he’s not Ted Cruz.

 

Please consider M.J. Hegar for your Core Four for 2020.

 

See Hegar’s campaign website:

MJ for Texas

 

Donate to her campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/mjh_website?refcode=web_homepage&amount=25&recurring=1

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/MJforTexas/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1945077182405313&ref=page_internal

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@mjhegar

 

Rewatch her stirring Doors campaign video:

 

See Ballotpedia’s page on Hegar:

https://ballotpedia.org/M.J._Hegar

 

See Ballotpedia’s page for the Texas Senate election in 2020:

https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_election_in_Texas,_2020

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Senator Doug Jones Needs Your Support in 2020. Also, Stop Talking Shit About Alabama, Please.

Please support Democratic Senator Doug Jones in his run for re-election in 2020. Also, stop talking shit about Alabama, please.

 

Doug Jones pulled out an electrifying victory in the Alabama special Senate election in 2017. In a state where Democrats have trouble getting traction, he defeated Republican Roy Moore.

 

It was awesome. Jones’s win was one of the great cheering victories of the post-2016-election era.

 

The victory was firm, but close–1.5 percent. Moore was an especially noxious Republican candidate. Alabamans of all persuasions joined forces to defeat Moore, and Tony the Democrat’s team of GOTV postcard-writers contributed, too. Had Jones run against anyone else, he might not have won.

 

Well, Jones is up for re-election in 2020. He’s regarded as the most vulnerable Senate Democrat. He needs your help.

 

The good news: the Cook Political Report regards the Alabama Senate race as a toss-up, rather than one that’s lean Republican, likely Republican, or solid Republican. And it feels weird to say Roy Moore’s entry into the race is a good thing, but it is as far as Jones is concerned. He beat him once already, and the national GOP is committed to rejecting Moore.

 

Please consider including Doug Jones in your Core Four for 2020.

 

Also? Stop talking shit about Alabama. Yes, the state’s leaders have been up to some seriously dispiriting nonsense of late.

 

But when you write Alabama off, you write off hordes of native Alabamans who have been, and still are, fighting the good fight.

 

More to the point, you’re writing off the people who toiled to elect Jones in 2017. Cut it out. Don’t cut them out. Ok?

 

See Doug Jones’s campaign website:

https://dougjones.com

 

Donate to Jones’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/jones-homepage1

 

Like him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/dougjonessenate/

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@DougJonesHQ

 

 

 

 

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections

Support Mark Kelly In His Race for an Arizona Senate Seat in 2020

Support Mark Kelly in his race for an Arizona Senate seat in 2020.

 

Kelly is a former astronaut and the husband of Gabby Giffords, who retired from the House of Representatives after she and several others were shot at a local meet-and-greet event.

 

He’s aiming for the seat currently held by Martha McSally, who was appointed to fill it in 2018 after she lost a different Arizona Senate race to Kyrsten Sinema. (John McCain had held the Senate seat until he died in September 2018. Governor Doug Ducey appointed Jon Kyl, who agreed to serve for only a few months.)

 

The Arizona Senate seat is one of the most gettable for Democrats in 2020, not least because Kelly is running. The Cook Political Report rates it as a Toss-up.

 

Please consider Kelly for your Core Four for 2020.

 

 

See Mark Kelly’s campaign website:

https://markkelly.com

 

 

See his Issues page:

https://markkelly.com/issues/

 

 

See his Why I’m Running page:

https://markkelly.com/why-im-running/

 

 

Donate to Mark Kelly’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/mek-website?refcode=website-donate

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Buy merch in his store:

https://store.markkelly.com

 

Like him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Capt.MarkKelly/photos/?tab=albums&ref=page_internal

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@ShuttleCDRKelly

 

See his Ballotpedia page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Mark_Kelly

 

 

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Support Democrat Maxine Waters for Re-Election to A House Seat in California’s 43rd Congressional District (GOOD UPDATE July 2019)

Update July 2019: Okay, you’ve long since figured this out, given her fierce and unrelenting work against Trump, but we at OTYCD feel it’s important to lace the feed with good updates wherever possible.

 

Democrat Maxine Waters won re-election in 2018.

 

She’s more than worthy of inclusion in your 2020 Core Four. Please keep her in mind.

 

Update, June 9, 2018: Waters came first in her district’s top-two primary on June 5, winning more than 71 percent of the vote. We congratulate Waters and encourage you to support her re-election campaign.

 

Support Democrat Maxine Waters, who’s running for re-election to a House of Representatives seat in California’s 43rd Congressional District.

 

Initially, we at OTYCD were not going to devote a post to Maxine Waters and her re-election campaign. We can only write so many posts about 2018 candidates–we could fill the whole queue with ‘support this person’ stories–and for that reason, we tend to favor challengers, not well-established incumbents.

 

What changed our collective minds? Assholes are gunning for Waters, explicitly, openly, and overtly, and they have been for a long while now.

 

A full roster of professionally awful people have teamed up to support an individual Republican aiming to take her down (we won’t dignify him by typing his name). Think of the worst, most repulsive Trumpistas you can, and yep, they’re almost certainly on the anti-Waters bandwagon and actively raising money to defeat her.

 

Nothing annoys a Trumpista more than a powerful black woman, and Waters annoys them all the more because she calls out lousy Republican behavior effectively and successfully, time and time again.

 

But that Republican twerp who we don’t care to name is not the only Republican who will appear in the June 5, 2018 primary. There are four others as well.

 

True, Waters is not facing Democratic opposition, and the Cook Political Report rates California’s 43rd Congressional District as Solid Democrat, but hey, you know the score. Since November 2016, you’ve helped out any number of special elections and state elections that Democratic candidates were not supposed to win.

 

Is she going to be OK? Is she going to win re-election? Yeah, probably. She beat that Republican twerp three to one in 2016. That said, he hadn’t bat-signaled the troll army then. The minute you think Waters will do fine with what she has is the minute when she might need your help.

 

Auntie Maxine needs us. Let’s help her out.

 

 

Visit Maxine Waters’s campaign website:

https://maxinewatersforcongress.com

 

 

Also see her Congressional website:

https://waters.house.gov

 

 

Add Maxine Waters to your Core Four:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/22/choose-your-fabulous-four-for-2018/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Donate to Waters’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/maxine-waters-2

 

 

Right around here is the point in the tail-end resources where we’d drop a link to merch if we had one. We’re trying to find an online store that sells ‘Reclaiming My Time’ products with the proceeds funding Waters’s campaign. If you know of one, please go to the About & Subscribe page and email us the info.

 

 

Like Maxine Waters on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MaxineWaters/

 

 

Follow Maxine Waters on Twitter:

@MaxineWaters

 

 

Of course, Maxine Waters is on Luvvie’s list of black women running for elected office in 2018. See our post on this invaluable reference:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/01/13/look-over-luvvies-list-of-black-women-who-are-running-for-office-and-support-them/

 

 

Read a November 27, 2017 Los Angeles Times piece that covers how pro-Trump folk are deliberately and explicitly targeting Maxine Waters for defeat in 2018:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-waters-gop-challenger-20171027-story.html

 

 

Read about how Waters’s late July 2017 remark during a Congressional meeting about “reclaiming my time” went viral on the scale of “nevertheless she persisted”:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/08/01/reclaiming-my-time-is-bigger-than-maxine-waters/?utm_term=.b1c676d118e5

https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/7/31/16070822/reclaiming-my-time-maxine-waters-mnuchin-meme

 

 

Learn how Maxine Waters became Auntie Maxine, hero of the Resistance:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/darrensands/how-auntie-maxine-became-a-meme-and-the-hero-of-the-anti?utm_term=.ngqeW26L3A#.bj0q7o30aB

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four

Re-elect Washington, D.C. Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton, Because She is Awesome (Good Update July 2019)

Update July 2019: Democrat Norton, the longtime incumbent, won re-election in 2018.

 

She next faces re-election in two years. Please keep her in mind when choosing your Core Four for 2020.

 

Re-elect Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, because she is awesome.

 

Norton is in her fourteenth Congressional term. Because she represents the District of Columbia, she is a non-voting member of the House, which means she cannot join votes on the floor of the House. This does not stop her from being awesome and fierce. She serves on several House committees and can speak on the House floor.

 

She continues to pursue legislation that would give Washington, D.C. a vote in the House of Representatives. She belongs to the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus.

 

 

If you’re thinking, “I know she’s awesome, but I can’t remember how I know that,” let us refresh your memory. You saw her on The Colbert Report back in the day:

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/6quypd/the-colbert-report-better-know-a-district—district-of-columbia—eleanor-holmes-norton

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/zf1m9m/the-colbert-report-d-c–voting-rights—eleanor-holmes-norton

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/ez9npn/the-colbert-report-eleanor-holmes-norton

 

Yeah. Give her support and campaign donations, please.

 

 

See Norton’s Congressional webpage:

https://norton.house.gov

 

 

See Norton’s 2018 campaign website:

http://www.nortonforcongress.org/home.html

 

 

Donate to Norton’s campaign:

http://www.nortonforcongress.org/donation.html

 

 

Choose her for your Core Four:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/24/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/CongresswomanNorton/?ref=s

 

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@EleanorNorton

 

 

Norton appears on Luvvie’s list of black woman candidates running for office in 2018. See Luvvie’s full list and our post about the list:

http://database.blackwomeninpolitics.com/candidate/custom?q=federal

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/01/13/look-over-luvvies-list-of-black-women-who-are-running-for-office-and-support-them/