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

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.

 

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.

Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Subscribe to Political Charge, Tokyo Sand’s Blog

Subscribe to Political Charge, the blog written by tweeter Tokyo Sand.

 

If you’re on Twitter and you’re part of the Resistance, you’ve come across Tokyo Sand. Their tweets are valuable and focused.

 

 

You might not be aware that Tokyo Sand has a blog as well. Political Charge is as valuable and focused as Tokyo Sand’s tweets, with explainers on gerrymandering, money laundering, and why town halls are worth your time.

 

 

It also features interviews with activists such as Pat Gunn, who helped elect Manka Dhingra to the Washington state senate and turned the entire West Coast solidly blue, and Frannie James, who volunteered in Alabama for Doug Jones’s campaign.

 

 

In a world that swamps us with content from all directions, Political Charge is worth your time and deserves a place in your inbox.

 

 

See the Political Charge blog (the subscription button is at the lower right, at the bottom of the page):

https://politicalcharge.org

 

 

See Political Charge’s piece on Getting Started in Political Activism:

Getting Started in Political Activism

 

 

Follow Tokyo Sand on Twitter:

@DHStokyo

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Learn to Help Friends and Family Who Want to Do More Than Register to Vote

Learn to help friends and family who want to do more than just register to vote.

 

Sarah Jane here. We at OTYCD have encouraged you to talk to friends and family about voting, and make it as easy and as painless as possible for them to register, learn where their polling place is, and plot how they will physically get to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

 

But what if they ask you about doing more than that? What if they’re excited, or concerned, or both about the direction the country is threatening to take, and they want to go beyond making sure they themselves are registered to vote?

 

May we humbly suggest you send them to this very blog?

 

 

Start by sending them to our page on The Most Important Thing You Can Do (we cheated, there’s actually four):

https://onethingyoucando.com/the-most-important-thing-you-can-do/

 

 

Also suggest they read the third entry in the Believe It: You Matter series, The Parable of Eating Less Meat. It’s about how activism is not a competition, and everything counts.

If you went from doing nothing to doing something, and you do that something consistently, you win. Doesn’t matter how big or small the something is.

Read Believe It: You Matter, Part III: The Parable Of Eating Less Meat:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/16/believe-it-you-matter-part-iii-the-parable-of-eating-less-meat/

 

 

And if you want to suggest that they subscribe to the blog, we won’t stop you.

 

 

Also encourage them to visit postcardstovoters.org and volunteer to write Get Out The Vote (GOTV) postcards, using their own supplies.

 

Of all the things I (Sarah Jane) have done to push back against Trump since November 2016, writing postcards to voters has been the most satisfying.

 

I can write postcards anytime Tony the Democrat and friends have a campaign going, which is almost always. (The few times when they’re between campaigns, I prep postcards for future campaigns by decorating them with rubber stamps.)

 

Writing postcards to voters doesn’t require knocking on doors, calling people, or otherwise approaching strangers, which is terrifying to an introvert like me.

 

Let’s be clear, though. I do all that stuff, too, and I recommend it, but writing postcards to voters is something I can do whenever I want, for as long as I want, and I can set it aside if need be. I call it my civic knitting–each postcard is a stitch that strengthens democracy.

 

Also? New research shows that hand-writing postcards to voters is just as effective at getting out the vote as canvassing (physically knocking on doors), and sometimes more effective.

 

For more, see this June 22, 2018 piece from Blue Virginia called The Mighty Pen Prevails: In the Digital Age, Handwritten Voter Contact Is a Powerful Secret Weapon:

https://bluevirginia.us/2018/06/the-mighty-pen-prevails-in-the-digital-age-handwritten-voter-contact-is-a-powerful-secret-weapon

 

 

If your friends and family are open to supporting candidates, point them to the OTYCD post on the Core Four Strategy:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/08/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

Helping eager friends and family learn who’s running for election and re-election in 2018 and find candidates to support is pretty next-level, but if you have the time and energy to do it, we at OTYCD encourage you to follow through.

 

 

 

 

Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Smoke Out Your Friends Who Didn’t Vote Last Year, and Cultivate Them

This OTYCD entry originally posted in April 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump.

 

Start a slow, quiet campaign to identify your friends who didn’t vote for president last November, and cultivate them with an eye toward getting them to the polls in 2018 and 2020.

 

One of the more shocking facts from the 2016 election was how few people voted. According to numbers from the United States Election Project, 59.3 percent of eligible voters turned out and cast a ballot for the president. (60 percent showed up and voted for something; the 0.7 percent gap represents people who voted but did not vote for president.)

 

That’s stupid-crazy low for an advanced democracy like America’s. Pitiable, in fact. Yet it’s actually a better turnout than 2012, which tallied 58.6 percent of eligible voters, and it might be the best electoral turnout recorded between 1972 and 2000.

 

Voter turnout needs to improve. Two out of five eligible voters stayed home. If more of those abstainers had come out, we might not be in the mess we’re in today. If you’re mad at Clinton’s narrow loss to Trump, don’t vent your rage on people who voted for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson–at least they went to the polls. Point your ire at the 40 percent of voters who never made it.

 

Ok, we’re joking about that–don’t actually get mad at them. At least some wanted to cast a ballot, but could not. That said, we’re on watch for articles that explain why people who can vote don’t vote, and why they say they chose to stay home in 2016. When we find them, we’ll post about them.

 

Here’s what we know right now. According to 538, voters who stayed home in 2016 probably cost Clinton the election:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/registered-voters-who-stayed-home-probably-cost-clinton-the-election/

 

In particular, turnout was low among young people (aged 18-29) and non-whites.

 

The silver lining to this? We know that Democratic-leaning and left-leaning people were less likely to go to the polls. You, personally, can help fix that.

 

Think about your friends. Do you know who among them did not vote? The math says that you probably have at least some non-voters in your midst. Maybe more than 60 percent of your friends voted, but not all of them.

 

If you know which of your friends did not vote, look for opportunities to discuss it with them. Don’t do this in a punitive way! Simply ask if they voted, and if they say no, ask why. Keep your tone of voice neutral.

 

If it’s something as simple as not being registered, or not having a ride to the polls, do what you can to remove those obstacles. The web site below will tell your friend if they’re registered to vote in their state:

http://www.canivote.org

 

If they are not registered, do what you can to help them register. If they would have voted if they had had transportation to the polls, make plans for 2018–see if you can give them a ride personally, or arrange for a cab.

 

If they had other reasons for not voting–they don’t think their vote matters, they didn’t like the candidates, they don’t trust the system, etc.–just keep talking to them. Don’t always talk politics–see to it that about 80 percent of the time, you talk about something else. And when you do talk politics, only occasionally talk about voting.

 

Build and strengthen your relationship with your non-voting friends with an eye on the coming 2018 race, and with the hopes of enticing those people to come with you to vote in the midterms.

 

 

See the full 2016 election numbers, compiled by the United States Election Project. It includes grand totals and state-by-state breakdowns:

http://www.electproject.org/2016g

 

 

Bookmark this page from the ElectProject site, which lists links to the boards of elections for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (scroll down a bit):

http://www.electproject.org/useful-election-links

 

 

See a 2012 piece on 538 that gives numbers on the 2012 turnout:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/no-voter-turnout-wasnt-way-down-from-2012/

 

 

Follow professor Michael P McDonald, the polysci guy behind the United States Election Project, on Twitter:

@ElectProject

 

 

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!

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

See Vote.Org’s List of All 50 State Voter Registration Deadlines

See Vote.org’s list of voter registration deadlines for all 50 states.

 

Loyal OTYCD readers know the importance of recruiting as many friends and family members as possible to come out and vote in the 2018 midterms, which happen on Tuesday, November 6. If we’re going to fix what’s broken, it can’t just be you going to the polls.

 

You’re also probably alarmed by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in favor of allowing Ohio to purge its rolls of voters who haven’t cast a ballot in a few cycles and do not respond to an inquiry from election officials.

 

The ruling sucks. Let’s not sugar-coat it. States now have permission to delist registered voters who haven’t cast a ballot recently. Ohio was evidently sending out a ‘hey are you out there’ notice after one “missed” election cycle, which makes their purging efforts exceptionally aggressive.

 

If you believe that voting is a right, not a privilege, the SCOTUS decision is a slap in the face of democracy. It lets states act as if voting is a “use it or lose it” kind of thing. It isn’t, and it shouldn’t be.

 

Anyway! The way to fight back is to step up and do the work on behalf of your friends and family. You need to help them check and confirm that they’re registered to vote, and help them register if they’re not. You need to make this task as easy for them as possible.

 

So, it’d help to know when it’s too late to register to vote in the home states of your friends and family, would it not?

 

Fortunately, the folks at Vote.org are on the case. They’ve cataloged and listed the voter registration deadlines for all 50 states.

 

And good news–the furthest-out deadline appears to be 31 days before Election Day, and that’s only in one state, and only if you’re mailing your ballot. Most states’ voter registration deadlines fall within the 30 days before E-Day, and some allow voters to register on the day itself.

 

So! You still have months to help friends and family register to vote, and you still have time to follow up on and re-register if the first attempt failed somehow.

 

 

See Vote.org’s webpage on voter registration deadlines across America:

https://www.vote.org/voter-registration-deadlines/

 

 

Also see our post on making sure you’re registered to vote, which contains a link you can use to help friends and family check their registration status:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/16/check-this-site-and-make-sure-youre-registered-to-vote/

 

 

You have many options for supporting the good work of Vote.org.

 

 

See their website:

https://www.vote.org

 

 

Donate to Vote.org:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/votedotorg2018?refcode=website-top-nav

 

 

Shop Vote.org merch:

https://shop.vote.org

 

 

Like them on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/votedotorg

 

 

Follow Vote.org on Twitter:

@votedotorg

 

 

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!

 

 

Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Vote with your Dollars

Check Out Bluewave Crowdsource, Which Encourages and Promotes Democratic Candidates Across the Country

Check out Bluewave Crowdsource, which encourages and promotes Democratic candidates across the country.

 

One of the most obvious failings of the Democratic Party is its hesitance to run candidates everywhere, for every elected race, regardless of whether the area is considered “red” or “blue.”

 

Many left-leaning, liberal, and progressive folks are annoyed with this. Even if the reason is good (such as not having enough money to support every race, everywhere), it looks bad. If there’s no Democratic candidate to vote for, people won’t vote Democratic. Seems self-evident, but hey, you’ve got to be in it to win it even if you realistically have no chance to win it. Putting in the effort of putting forward a candidate matters.

 

Bluewave Crowdsource is doing what the Democratic Party is not. Well, some of it, anyway. It researches, selects, and promotes Democrats who are running for Congress, for governorships, for state legislatures, and for other elected offices.

 

Bluewave Crowdsource limits itself to one candidate per district, state, or seat ahead of the primaries, and gets behind the Democratic primary victor, whoever that person is. It also spotlights one candidate per day from its roster.

 

We at OTYCD can vouch for the strength of the Bluewave Crowdsource roster. It has chosen more than 20 people we’ve devoted posts to, including DD Adams, who’s running for a House of Representatives seat in North Carolina; Jana Lynne Sanchez, running for a House seat in Texas; Marge Doyle, who’s campaigning to win a House seat in California; Stacey Abrams, who’s aiming to become governor of Georgia; and Jacky Rosen, who’s trying to unseat Republican Senator Dean Heller in Nevada.

 

 

See the Bluewave Crowdsource website:

https://bluewavecrowdsource.com

 

 

See its About page:

https://bluewavecrowdsource.com/about-bluewave

 

 

See its Candidates database:

https://bluewavecrowdsource.com/candidates

 

 

Volunteer for Bluewave Crowdsource:

https://bluewavecrowdsource.com/volunteers

 

 

See its Resources page, which, yay!, includes Postcards to Voters:

https://bluewavecrowdsource.com/resources

 

 

Donate to Bluewave Crowdsource:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bwcs

 

 

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!

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@BlueWaveCS

 

 

Follow Bluewave Crowdsource founder Holly Figueroa O’Reilly on Twitter:

@AynRandPaulRyan

 

 

Follow Bluewave Crowdsource volunteer coordinator, events & newsletter boss, and tech stuffs magician Anne Leigh on Twitter:

@For_Cripes_Sake

 

 

Follow Bluewave Crowdsource web developer and resident nerd Lynn Stahl on Twitter:

@jesusbuddy7

 

 

Follow Bluewave Crowdsource campaign liaison, organizer of stuff, and gladiator Lena Eisen:

@lena_eisen

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Call Your Senators and Demand They Enforce the McConnell Standard for Nominating Supreme Court Justices

Call your Senators and demand that they enforce the McConnell Standard for nominating Supreme Court Justices.

 

You have no doubt heard the news about Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

 

You are no doubt unsurprised that Team Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress have stated intentions to push the SCOTUS nomination through in the fall.

 

You are no doubt aware of why this is an utterly bullshit move. Senator Mitch McConnell refused to allow a hearing on the nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the seat left open by the February 2016 death of Antonin Scalia. McConnell made the ridiculous claim that it was improper to consider a nomination in an election year.

 

McConnell successfully kept the seat open until well after the election. The new administration chose a ridiculously hard-right judge who has wreaked more than his share of havoc already.

 

We can fight this, and we will fight this.

 

Step one is calling your Senators (just your Senators, because only Senators hear and vote on SCOTUS nominations) and demanding that McConnell follow the precedent that he himself set out.

 

If nominating Merrick Garland 237 days before an election was too close for McConnell’s comfort, we should certainly hold off considering a replacement for Justice Kennedy, who announced his retirement just 132 days before the 2018 elections.

 

Also consider that since the first day of his term of office, polls have shown that Trump has never had positive public approval numbers–never, not once, not even for one lousy day.

 

Add to this the fact that Trump is actively under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and could well be charged with obstruction of justice.

 

The case for waiting now is far, far stronger than the case for waiting in 2016.

 

And! You will no doubt be entirely unsurprised to learn that Celeste Pewter (follow her on Twitter at @Celeste_Pewter) has a script for this (scroll down to learn more ways to support her work):

 

 

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has endorsed upholding the McConnell Standard:

http://thehill.com/homenews/394492-feinstein-senate-should-follow-mcconnell-standard-wait-to-vote-on-supreme-court

 

 

Here also are a few articles to get you up to speed on the counterarguments the

GOP is trying to push (spoiler alert! Their counterarguments are nonsensical crap):

 

 

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/mar/17/context-biden-rule-supreme-court-nominations/

 

 

If you want to do more, look to the OTYCD post that happened to go up the

very day that Kennedy announced his retirement.

 

 

It’s about countering Trump’s strategy for the midterms by supporting vulnerable incumbent Democratic Senators.

 

If Democrats are to take control of the Senate–which will, admittedly, be tough–we need to defend all Senators who are up for re-election and we need to win at least two more seats besides.

 

Celeste Pewter was all over this ages ago, with The Road to 2018, which was created to defend the incumbent Senators who need it most.

 

She’s recommending an iteration of the Core Four strategy–pick at least one Democratic incumbent Senator and one Democratic challenger for a Senate seat, and devote yourself to them. Give them money. Volunteer. Canvass. Phone-bank. And recruit friends and family to do the same.

 

If you missed the OTYCD post for June 27, 2018, see it now:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/06/27/combat-trumps-2018-midterms-strategy-by-defending-vulnerable-democratic-senate-incumbents/

 

 

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!

How to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded script above:

In addition to following Pewter on Twitter (again, her handle is @Celeste_Pewter) you

can support her in other ways.

 

 

 

After you call your elected representatives on these two topics, tweet about the

experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.