Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Choose Your Core Four for 2018

This OTYCD post originally appeared in January 2018, 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.

 

Choose your Core Four–two Democratic senators and two Democratic house reps, an incumbent and a challenger for each chamber–to support to in 2018.

 

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 will test our collective resolve as never before.

 

Literally hundreds of races–34 senators, and all 435 House reps–are taking place, and all of them will end on November 6, 2018.

 

If the Democrats are to win control of the House of Representatives (tough, because of gerrymandering, but doable) and the Senate (tougher, but thinkable now that Alabama Democrat Doug Jones won his special election Senate race in December 2017), we’ll all need to concentrate on, and help, more than one Congressional race at the same time.

 

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.

 

Two Democrats for the House of Representatives.

Two Democrats for the Senate.

One incumbent and one challenger for each chamber of Congress.

 

 

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 2018. 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.

 

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 6, 2018. 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 New Hampshire.

 

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 Andrew Janz? He hopes to push House Rep Devin Nunes out of his perch in California’s 22nd District. A worthy choice. Allocate time and money to him. 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 New Hampshire are up for re-election in 2018. You are free to devote your resources elsewhere.

 

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is running for her second term in 2018. How about helping to defend her? There’s your third choice made.

 

Now look for a candidate who hopes to push out a terrible sitting Republican Senator. Hey, how about Beto O’Rourke? He hopes to send Ted Cruz of Texas packing. Hard to find a nobler cause than that.

 

 

And there’s your Core Four: Your good incumbent Democratic House Rep, Randy Bryce in Wisconsin, Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, Beto O’Rourke in Texas.

 

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

 

You can certainly look to orgs such as Swing Left, the Road to 2018, 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:

Alabama

Alaska

Arkansas

Colorado

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

New Hampshire

North Carolina

Oklahoma

Oregon

South Carolina

South Dakota

 

 

* 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.

 

**The original suggestion we had here was Randy Bryce, aka Ironstache, a Democrat who is running in Wisconsin’s 1st District. In mid-April 2018, his lousy Republican opponent, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, announced he would not run again. We cheered for Ironstache, and then we realized we should swap in a different example of an incumbent House Rep who needs to GO. It’s a good problem to have. Here’s hoping we face it a few more times before November 6.

 

 

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 The Road to 2018, which focuses on defending vulnerable Democratic Senators:

http://www.roadto2018.com

 

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 · 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

Candidates · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Choose Your Core Four for 2018

Choose your Core Four–two Democratic senators and two Democratic house reps, an incumbent and a challenger for each chamber–to support to in 2018.

 

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 will test our collective resolve as never before.

 

Literally hundreds of races–34 senators, and all 435 House reps–are taking place, and all of them will end on November 6, 2018.

 

If the Democrats are to win control of the House of Representatives (tough, because of gerrymandering, but doable) and the Senate (tougher, but thinkable now that Alabama Democrat Doug Jones won his special election Senate race in December 2017), we’ll all need to concentrate on, and help, more than one Congressional race at the same time.

 

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.

 

Two Democrats for the House of Representatives.

Two Democrats for the Senate.

One incumbent and one challenger for each chamber of Congress.

 

 

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 2018. 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.

 

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 6, 2018. 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 New Hampshire.

 

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 Andrew Janz? He hopes to push House Rep Devin Nunes out of his perch in California’s 22nd District. A worthy choice. Allocate time and money to him. 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 New Hampshire are up for re-election in 2018. You are free to devote your resources elsewhere.

 

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is running for her second term in 2018. How about helping to defend her? There’s your third choice made.

 

Now look for a candidate who hopes to push out a terrible sitting Republican Senator. Hey, how about Beto O’Rourke? He hopes to send Ted Cruz of Texas packing. Hard to find a nobler cause than that.

 

 

And there’s your Core Four: Your good incumbent Democratic House Rep, Randy Bryce in Wisconsin, Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, Beto O’Rourke in Texas.

 

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

 

You can certainly look to orgs such as Swing Left, the Road to 2018, 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:

Alabama

Alaska

Arkansas

Colorado

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

New Hampshire

North Carolina

Oklahoma

Oregon

South Carolina

South Dakota

 

 

* 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.

 

**The original suggestion we had here was Randy Bryce, aka Ironstache, a Democrat who is running in Wisconsin’s 1st District. In mid-April 2018, his lousy Republican opponent, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, announced he would not run again. We cheered for Ironstache, and then we realized we should swap in a different example of an incumbent House Rep who needs to GO. It’s a good problem to have. Here’s hoping we face it a few more times before November 6.

 

 

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 The Road to 2018, which focuses on defending vulnerable Democratic Senators:

http://www.roadto2018.com

 

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/

Community Activism · Elections · Escape Your Bubble · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Removing Trump Is Not Enough

This OTYCD entry originally posted in August 2017.

 

Just sayin’. Your work is not done when Trump is. We have to remove all the elected Republicans who installed him as a candidate, and all the Republicans who have placed country over party. 

 

If you learn nothing else from the Trump crisis, learn this: Democracy is fragile, and it needs you to make it work. Yes, you personally. The price of gaining a voice is gaining the responsibility to use it.

 

Trump will go, but you must not. He is the fetid product of decades of political rot promulgated and abetted by the leaders of the Republican party.

 

In order for democracy to work in America, we need at least two functional parties. Given the difficulty of launching a viable party in this country, we’re more likely to be stuck with the Republicans for a while yet. A malfunctioning heap of smoking rubble beats a shiny new political machine if the heap of rubble has name recognition and familiar infrastructure.

 

Trump is not the sole problem. Every Republican who assented to choosing Trump as its candidate is part of the problem, as is every Republican who side-steps rules and norms if they get in the way of what Trump wants.

 

Not every Republican did those things, but too many did. Even after Trump is removed, we have to work to elect Republicans who respect facts and reality rather than making up their own versions and trying to group-think them into being.

 

The types of Republicans who have to go include:

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who broke the rules by refusing to give Merrick Garland a hearing as a Supreme Court nominee when Obama was president, and pushed through a far-right candidate, Neil Gorsuch, under Trump. McConnell made up a bullshit excuse about presidents not getting to choose SCOTUS candidates in the last years of their terms to bar Garland, and later refused to entertain the notion that perhaps Trump’s pick shouldn’t get consideration while he was under investigation by the FBI–a far more serious set of circumstances.

 

McConnell also stopped Obama from going public about the Trump-Russia revelations in 2016 in a bipartisan way, and he threatened to accuse Obama of playing politics if he tried. Anyone who radiates that much bad faith shouldn’t hold elected office at all, never mind lead the Senate.

 

 

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who has demonstrated his lack of spine on multiple occasions. He has consistently pushed back against calls to investigate the scandals arising from Trump’s entanglements with Russia, and he has downplayed other oddities that would have him screaming bloody murder had they been done by Democrats.

 

A regrettably routine example of his spinelessness appeared after Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana’s open house seat the day after he body-slammed a reporter. Ryan decried the violence and called on Gianforte to apologize but said he would still seat him in good faith: “If he wins, he has been chosen by the people of Montana who their congressman is going to be. I’m going to let the people of Montana decide who they want as their representative.”

 

Not seating a guy who attacks a reporter who asked him a simple question that he should have expected is a no-brainer. If Gianforte can’t handle the stress of campaigning in Montana, one of our most rural states, how will he handle having mics shoved in his face all day, every day? Ryan should have insisted that he complete some anger-management classes first, at minimum. Failing to enforce norms teaches that it’s OK to body-slam a reporter who’s just doing his job. Not only is that not OK, it eats at the very foundations of our democracy–the first amendment is first for a reason.

 

 

And speaking of Gianforte, he’s another Republican who has to go–not just because he attacked a reporter, but because he lied about what happened in his official statement. This fact that gets glossed over in recounting the incident, and it’s vitally important that we not lose sight of it. Here, for the record, is the statement Gianforte released:

 

Bozeman, Mont. — “Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions. Jacobs was asked to leave. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.” — Shane Scanlon, spokesperson for Greg for Montana.

 

So, Gianforte didn’t just attack a reporter, his campaign spokesman wildly mischaracterized what happened. Anyone who’s heard the audio or read the account from the Fox news crew who saw the attack knows this statement is blatantly at odds with reality. Any candidate who lies in this manner about something so critical, knowing there are witnesses to his behavior (it’s not clear if Gianforte and his team were aware of the audio recording), is unfit for high office.

 

Yet another Republican who needs to go is Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, for defending a $2 trillion error in the FY2018 and expressing confidence in the flagrantly borked numbers.

 

It’s no secret that the Republicans crave tax cuts for the rich like vampires crave blood, but they’ve never resorted to alternative math on quite this big a scale before. Embracing a $2 trillion error on top of math that was already a fantasy (the budget assumed a three percent growth rate, which economists say just doesn’t happen) shows that too many Republicans are just not serious-minded enough to handle the hard, tedious, unglamorous work of governing.

 

Electing Democrats is not enough. We have to work to elect sane Republicans as well. Republicans such as John McCain and Mitt Romney.

 

We heard that groan, and we feel you. But! We won’t be able to elect a Congress of 100 percent Democrats–not gonna happen, ever. Sorry. And sitting aside bemusedly, election after election, as sane Republicans got knocked out in primaries by mendacious loony-cuckoopants Republicans helped get us into this mess.

 

To be clear: sane Republicans are Republicans who you don’t agree with on much, or at all, but who act like grownups nonetheless.

 

They are people who would never pull the shit that McConnell did. They are people who would react far more strongly to Gianforte’s transgressions than Ryan did. They are people who would seek tax cuts through talking to the whole Congress and making their case, not by waiting till they have a majority and putting out budget numbers that are so wrong and unworkable as to be insulting.

 

As much as it might pain you, you need to be alert to the sane Republicans in your midst, and you need to support them with time and money. Please think about it.

 

 

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!

 

 

Read about how McConnell blocked Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, and how Trump thanked him subsequently for his efforts:

http://www.npr.org/2016/03/16/470664561/mcconnell-blocking-supreme-court-nomination-about-a-principle-not-a-person

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/04/trump-thanks-mcconnell-for-all-that-he-did-to-ruin-merrick-garland

 

 

Read about how McConnell tanked Obama’s effort to get a bi-partisan admission of Russian interference while the 2016 campaign was still live:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-orders-review-of-russian-hacking-during-presidential-campaign/2016/12/09/31d6b300-be2a-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.763c3e1ce37c

 

 

Read about how Ryan said he would seat Greg Gianforte even though he assaulted a reporter:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/paul-ryan-signals-he-would-still-seat-greg-gianforte-if-he-wins-special-election/

 

 

Read reactions to Gianforte’s attack:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/25/15689924/greg-gianforte-defense-assault

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/may/25/parsing-statement-montana-politician-who-allegedly/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/25/politics/greg-gianforte-statement-defense/

 

 

Read about the $2 trillion budget error and Mulvaney’s admission that it’s an error, and he nonetheless stands by the numbers:

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/05/trumps-entire-budget-is-based-on-a-2-trillion-accounting-trick

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/05/mick-mulvaney-tried-to-explain-math-error-in-trump-budget.html

Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Choose Your Core Four for 2018

Choose your Core Four–two Democratic senators and two Democratic house reps, an incumbent and a challenger for each chamber–to support to in 2018.

 

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 will test our collective resolve as never before.

 

Literally hundreds of races–34 senators, and all 435 House reps–are taking place, and all of them will end on November 6, 2018.

 

If the Democrats are to win control of the House of Representatives (tough, because of gerrymandering, but doable) and the Senate (tougher, but thinkable now that Alabama Democrat Doug Jones won his special election Senate race in December 2017), we’ll all need to concentrate on, and help, more than one Congressional race at the same time.

 

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.

 

 

Two Democrats for the House of Representatives.

Two Democrats for the Senate.

One incumbent and one challenger for each chamber of Congress.

 

 

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 2018. 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.

 

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 6, 2018. 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 New Hampshire.

 

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 Andrew Janz? He hopes to push House Rep Devin Nunes out of his perch in California’s 22nd District. A worthy choice. Allocate time and money to him. 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 New Hampshire are up for re-election in 2018. You are free to devote your resources elsewhere.

 

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is running for her second term in 2018. How about helping to defend her? There’s your third choice made.

 

Now look for a candidate who hopes to push out a terrible sitting Republican Senator. Hey, how about Beto O’Rourke? He hopes to send Ted Cruz of Texas packing. Hard to find a nobler cause than that.

 

 

And there’s your Core Four: Your good incumbent Democratic House Rep, Randy Bryce in Wisconsin, Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, Beto O’Rourke in Texas.

 

 

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

 

You can certainly look to orgs such as Swing Left, the Road to 2018, 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:

Alabama

Alaska

Arkansas

Colorado

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

New Hampshire

North Carolina

Oklahoma

Oregon

South Carolina

South Dakota

 

 

* 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.

 

**The original suggestion we had here was Randy Bryce, aka Ironstache, a Democrat who is running in Wisconsin’s 1st District. In mid-April 2018, his lousy Republican opponent, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, announced he would not run again. We cheered for Ironstache, and then we realized we should swap in a different example of an incumbent House Rep who needs to GO. It’s a good problem to have. Here’s hoping we face it a few more times before November 6.

 

 

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 The Road to 2018, which focuses on defending vulnerable Democratic Senators:

http://www.roadto2018.com

 

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/