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

Set Aside Two Hours Per Week To Work For Your Chosen 2020 Candidates

This OTYCD post originally appeared in February 2018, but for obvious reasons, we are updating and reposting it for 2020.

 

2018 was a huge test for us all. We stepped up. All the texting, phone-banking, canvassing, postcard-writing, and general beating-of-the-drum paid off. Democrats claimed control of the House of Representatives, and our efforts helped limit likely Democratic losses in the Senate during a cycle that favored the Republicans. Had things been closer to normal, the GOP could have picked up six to nine seats. While we lost two Senate seats, we gained two, and the GOP didn’t come close to their 2018 goals.

 

So! On to 2020. We’ve already asked you to choose your Core Four for 2020–four Democrats, two incumbents and two challengers, for each chamber of Congress, PLUS choosing a voting rights organization to support:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2020/02/01/choose-your-core-four-plus-a-voting-rights-org-to-support-in-2020-2/

 

To serve those four candidates well, you’ll need to school yourself on their voting records and their backgrounds. If they’ve written books, you need to read them. You need to become expert in them so you can persuade people to vote for them and defend them to those who are skeptical or hostile.

 

Obviously, you will need to read up on the Democratic nominee for president as well, once that person is chosen.

 

Once you feel like you have those five under control, you should see whether you can add other races to your load. State and local races will take place, too.

 

In order to stay on top of it all, find a way to commit a minimum of two hours a week to state, local, and federal 2020 races.

 

Money always matters, of course, but time can be even more valuable to a candidate. If you’re an excellent political volunteer, your time might be worth several times more than your dollar donations.

 

You don’t have to give your time in a two-hour block. You can chop it up as needed–four half-hours, an hour here and an hour there, twelve 20-minute blocks, twenty-four ten minute blocks, whatever works best for you.

 

Research, reading, attending speeches, going to Indivisible meetings, and talking to other people all count, as does phone-banking, canvassing, and writing GOTV postcards.

 

If you can give more than two hours a week, great! But the key thing is to aim to give at least two hours a week, and stick to it.

 

As we head toward Labor Day 2020, you might want to think about rearranging your schedule to give even more time to 2020 races. Almost all of them will end on November 3, 2020, and campaign needs will grow more intense as early November approaches.

 

It makes sense to sit down now and plan how September through November will go, particularly if you’ll have other standing obligations to work around, such as school, or your kids’ schools, or holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

 

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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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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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Action Alerts · Community Activism · Vote with your Dollars

Start a 2020 Fund

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017, as ‘Start a 2018 Fund’.

 

Start saving two dollars a week to fund political actions that will shape the 2020 election.

 

It doesn’t have to be two dollars. You can save more if you want. If you’re struggling, find a sum you can comfortably set aside, even if it’s just a quarter.

 

If you start saving two dollars per week now, you should have about one hundred set aside when the 2020 primaries crest the horizon.

 

The point is to develop the habit of squirreling away something every week to support your political efforts. You can define ‘political efforts’ as broadly as you wish. You can draw on your stash to donate to Congressional candidates. You can give to Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, the Sierra Club, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or dozens of other worthy organizations that matter to you. Or you can use it as seed money for your own run for local office.

 

Budget for politics just as you’d budget for Christmas, or tithes, or a down payment on a house. Think long-term. Put away something every week, no matter how small.

 

 

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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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Candidates · Elections · Vote with your Dollars

Ready Your Wallet: The FEC Q4 Deadline Is In One Week

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 realize the holidays can be tight, but deadlines are deadlines–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.

 

We’re putting this post up one week before the actual deadline, to give you time to sort out your finances and see what you can do. We’ll put up another reminder on the day, and we’ll keep doing quarterly reminders about FEC deadlines in perpetuity.

 

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!

 

Candidates · Elections · Vote with your Dollars

Headsup: The FEC Deadline for Q4 Is at the End of December

Headsup: The Federal Election Commission’s donation deadline for the fourth quarter of 2019 is at the end of the month. 

 

We’re giving you an extra, early headsup about the FEC Q4 deadline because it falls on December 31, 2019–a time of year when many of us have to plan extra-carefully, between buying gifts for the holidays and sorting out donations to other charities before the calendar year ends.

 

If you have money to spare, 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.

 

We’re putting this post up one month before the actual deadline, to give you extra time to sort out your finances and see what you can do. We’ll put up another reminder one week ahead of the deadline as well as on the day, and we’ll keep doing quarterly reminders about FEC deadlines in perpetuity.

 

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!