Candidates · Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

All the State Deadlines to Register to Vote in the 2020 Primaries, Compiled by Head Count (Please Spread the Word on This NOW, in February 2020)

This OTYCD post originally ran in January 2020. We’re rerunning it because it is time-sensitive.

 

Are you registered to vote? Do you need to help friends and family register to vote in time for their state’s 2020 presidential primary? Here’s a list of all the state deadlines.

 

If you want to vote in the 2020 presidential primaries, you have to register. If you’re not super-hyper-mega plugged in to politics, you might only notice your state’s primary before it happens but after the voter registration deadline has passed.

 

One of the many ways you can help push back against Trump in 2020 is make sure it isn’t just you going to the polls. You can help friends and family vote, too.

 

The good folks at Head Count have compiled a master sheet of all the state deadlines to register to vote in 2020. Bookmark it and share it early and often.

 

It’s important to start talking to people about deadlines to register to vote in the state primaries NOW because the earliest of those deadlines fall in February 2020, and one deadline — South Carolina’s — takes place January 30, 2020.

 

Head Count is an excellent nonpartisan organization that sets up shop at concerts and helps register newly eligible young people to vote.

 

See its main website.

 

See its voting information page.

 

Learn how to volunteer with Head Count.

 

See the list of upcoming events at which Head Count will appear.

 

Donate to Head Count.

 

Like Head Count on Facebook.

 

Follow Head Count on Twitter.

 

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Community Activism · Elections

Plan Ahead–Take Tuesday, November 3, 2020 Off, and Maybe Other Days Too

Plan ahead! Make sure to take Tuesday, November 3, 2020 off from work, and maybe Monday November 2 and Friday October 30 as well.

 

Election Day 2020 is going to be A Thing. You thought the 2018 midterms were a thing? Well, they were, but this is going to be A Bigger Thing.

 

You need to prepare for it.

 

Now is the time to think about what you will do on and around Tuesday, November 3, 2020 so you will be as effective as you can be in defending and upholding democracy.

 

It might make more sense for you to vote early or vote absentee so you can cover for co-workers to free them to head to the polls.

 

It might make more sense to take that Tuesday off from work, and maybe the surrounding days, too.

 

If you know you’re going to be out of town on that Tuesday, devote some time to getting your absentee ballot sorted.

 

Plan ahead, all!

 

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Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Do You Live In Or Near a 2020 Swing State?

Do you live in a 2020 swing state? Find out. 

 

Whenever a presidential election approaches on the calendar, there’s much discussion of swing states–states that seem like they could tilt toward either the Democratic candidate or the Republican, and which should prove critical to a victory in the Electoral College. [A candidate has to rack up a minimum of 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. As of December 2019, the Electoral College consisted of 538 votes.]

 

Things have gotten ever more polarized over the years, which means the number of legitimate swing states has shrunk. But until we get rid of the Electoral College, swing states will exist, and they will matter more to the candidates than will states that are firmly red or blue.

 

In an August 2019 guest column for Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Alfred J. Tuchfarber identified six 2020 swing states:

 

Florida

Michigan

Minnesota

New Hampshire

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

 

If you live in or near one of these states, it’s a good idea to pay closer attention and devote time and money to bringing about the result that you want to see.

 

In particular, you will want to stay on top of threats to the integrity of the voter rolls–attempts to restrict or suppress residents’ ability to cast a ballot–and you will want to do what you can to fight back.

 

And though Trump is notably weak on a national level, he might show stronger-than-expected poll numbers in specific states. For example, an early November 2019 CNBC piece shows Trump trailing Joe Biden in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin, but faring better against Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. [Important note: the  polls discussed took place weeks before the House of Representatives wrote and voted on articles of impeachment against Trump.]

 

A looser definition seems to apply to “battleground” states–those regarded as less important to the overall Electoral College count, but which could be in play in the next presidential election.

 

In an undated piece about 2020 Battleground States, Taegan Goddard counts the six swing states mentioned above and includes:

 

Maine

North Carolina

Georgia

Texas

Arizona

 

If you live in or near these five states, you’ll want to keep an eye on things here as well. That said, if you need to budget your attention, favor the swing states over the battleground states. The six swing states merit mention in both the Sabato and the Goddard articles.

 

 

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

See the Full List of Sitting Senators Who Are Up for Re-election in 2020 (Updated and Expanded in December 2019)

As noted in the title, this version of the OTYCD post appeared in December 2019. We’re rerunning it now because It’s Important, Dangit. 

 

See the full list of sitting senators who are up for re-election in 2020.

 

2018 was a tough year for Democratic sitting Senators. Many more Democrats than Republicans were up for re-election. While we lost two, Bill Nelson of Florida and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, we managed to pick up two seats–Jacky Rosen defeated Dean Heller in Nevada, and Kyrsten Sinema won the open seat in Arizona.

 

Things could have been a lot worse, and would have been a lot worse in the absence of voters highly motivated by the unusually terrible performance of the Trump administration. If a more normal and routine Republican had been president in 2018, the Democrats might have suffered more losses.

 

The 2020 story is different. Many more Republicans are defending than are Democrats.

 

This is an expanded version of a basic post first published in April 2019. It flags which Republican Senators have chosen not to run again, and gives additional details on those open seats. It also gives details on select Republican Senators who are regarded as vulnerable to defeat.

 

We at OTYCD are giving these details in part so you can choose candidates for your Core Four Plus for 2020. If you are able to donate to Democratic Senate incumbents or Democratic challengers to incumbent Republican Senators before 2019 ends, please do.

 

The following Democrats are up for re-election in 2020:

 

Cory Booker of New Jersey

 

Christopher Coons of Delaware

 

Richard “Dick” Durbin of Illinois

 

*Doug Jones of Alabama

 

Ed Markey of Massachusetts

 

Jeff Merkley of Oregon

 

Gary Peters of Michigan

 

Jack Reed of Rhode Island

 

*Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire

 

Tina Smith of Minnesota

 

Tom Udall of New Mexico

 

Mark Warner of Virginia

 

*These two Democrats are regarded as the most vulnerable who are up for re-election in 2020. Jones is regarded as the most vulnerable of the pair. Please give them special consideration when choosing your Core Four Plus for 2020.

 

The following Republicans are up for re-election in 2020 (especially vulnerable incumbents are marked with **):

 

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. Alexander announced in December 2018 that he would not run again. As of December 2019, four Democrats and seven Republicans are competing for the seat. The primary takes place on August 6, 2020.

The Cook Political Report regards the seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

 

Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

 

 

**Susan Collins of Maine. After much delay, Collins finally announced in December 2019 that she would in fact run again for her Senate seat. After she cast a critical vote that placed Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court of the United States, Ady Barkan’s Be a Hero organization and other Maine activists launched a Crowdpac campaign to raise money for her then as-yet-undeclared Democratic challenger. As of June 2019, they had collected $4 million.

Sara Gideon leads the pack of four Democrats vying to challenge Collins for her seat. The primary takes place on June 9, 2020. Presumably, the winner of the Democratic primary will receive the funds raised through Crowdpac.

The Cook Political Report regards Collins’s seat as a Toss-up.

 

 

John Cornyn of Texas

 

Tom Cotton of Arkansas

 

Steve Daines of Montana

 

Michael Enzi of Wyoming. In May of 2019, Enzi announced he would not run again in 2020. As of December 2019, one Democrat, Yana Ludwig, and three Republicans had committed to run in the August 18, 2020 primary.

The Cook Political Report rates Enzi’s seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

**Joni Ernst of Iowa. She’s running for a second term, but is widely regarded as a vulnerable Republican incumbent. Five Democrats and one other Republican will appear in the June 2, 2020 primary.

The Cook Political Report regards Ernst’s seat as Likely Republican.

 

 

**Cory Gardner of Colorado. Like Ernst, he’s running for a second term. Eight Democrats, including newly-former Governor (he was term-limited out) and newly-former 2020 presidential candidate John Hickenlooper, will be on the June 30, 2020 primary ballot.

The Cook Political Report rates Gardner’s seat as a Toss-up.

 

 

Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. He’s running again, and he has yet to be lumped in with Collins, Ernst, and Gardner, but he might be more vulnerable than he appears. He has a strong Democratic challenger in Jaime Harrison, and a mid-December 2019 poll had him with a two-point lead–within the poll’s 3.1 percent margin of error.

Harrison is one of three other Democrats and five other Republicans challenging Graham in the state’s primary, which takes place on June 9, 2020. If a runoff is required, it will take place on June 23, 2020.

The Cook Political Report rates Graham’s Senate seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi

 

James Inhofe of Oklahoma

 

Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. He’s running again, he leads the GOP Senate majority; and many (including we at OTYCD) agree he’s done as much, if not more, damage to American democracy and the rule of law as has Trump, so we’re including him in this expanded update.

Six Democrats, including Amy McGrath, will appear in the May 19, 2020 primary, along with another Republican.

The Cook Political Report rates McConnell’s seat as Likely Republican, which gives a glimmer of hope. If McConnell was truly well-regarded in his home state, the Cook rating would be the strongest rating, Solid Republican. That said–if you see a poll flying around on social media or the Internet that claims McConnell’s polling numbers in Kentucky are dismal, check the date. The one that pops up most often was taken in summer 2017, which, really, is too old to bother with now.

 

 

David Perdue of Georgia

 

James Risch of Idaho

 

Pat Roberts of Kansas. In January 2019, Roberts announced that he would not run for a fifth term. Four Democrats and seven Republicans, including the loathsome Kris Kobach, will appear on the primary ballot on August 4, 2020.

The Cook Political Report rates the Senate seat as Likely Republican.

 

Mike Rounds of South Dakota

 

 

Ben Sasse of Nebraska. Addressing this now because there might be a little confusion. Sasse has spoken out against Trump, but he IS running for re-election in 2020. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake was the one who spoke out against Trump and decided to quit the Senate.

Sasse is unchallenged by his party in the May 12, 2020 primary. Three Democrats are also running.

The Cook Political Report rates Sasse’s seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

Thom Tillis of North Carolina

 

 

 

See the official list of senators in Class II here:

https://www.senate.gov/senators/Class_II.htm

 

 

We relied on Ballotpedia for several raw facts for this update. It merits your full support.

 

 

See the main Ballotpedia webpage:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

 

Read its Our History page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Our_History

 

 

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!

 

 

Read its Contact and FAQ page:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Overview_and_contact_information

 

 

Subscribe to Ballotpedia’s weekly newsletter, The Federal Tap:

https://ballotpedia.org/The_Federal_Tap:_New_polls_reveal_sizable_lead_in_one_U.S._Senate_race,_tightening_margins_in_another

 

 

Donate to Ballotpedia:

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Donate

 

 

Like the Ballotpedia page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Ballotpedia/

 

 

Follow Ballotpedia on Twitter:

@ballotpedia

 

 

Choose Your Core Four · Community Activism · Elections · Uncategorized

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

This post originally ran on OTYCD in December 2019. We’re rerunning it because Dangit, It’s Important!

 

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/

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.

 

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Candidates · Elections · Vote with your Dollars

Headsup: The FEC Q4 Deadline Is TODAY. Please Donate to Democrats Before Midnight

Headsup: The Federal Election Commission’s donation deadline for the fourth quarter of 2019 is in one week. 

 

If you have money to spare–and we know it’s the holidays, and we know every charity has been nudging you to give before the calendar year ends–now is the time to give to sitting Democratic members of Congress, Democrats who have declared their intent to run against Republicans in 2020, and Democratic candidates for president.

 

Fairly or not, quarterly fundraising numbers are considered a sign of a candidate’s strength. Giving money to a candidate or a Congressperson who’s up for re-election in 2020 before a quarterly FEC deadline is a way to cast a vote for that candidate with dollars instead of a ballot.

 

In addition to giving to members of your Congressional delegation who are up in 2020, you can donate to Democrats who are taking heat from Republicans on the regular, to show tangible support for them.

 

It’s equally wise to cast a “vote” for Congressional Democrats who are quietly getting things done but not drawing any media attention.

 

Because they are critical to candidates’ success, we’ll keep doing quarterly reminders about FEC deadlines in perpetuity.

 

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