DOWN-BALLOT RACES in the US ELECTION HOLD KEY to the FUTURE of AMERICAN POLITICS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- 19 October 2020

Contact: Darcy Alexandra, Zurich Co-Chair, [email protected] +41 78 920 79 98

Fast Forward: Wednesday, January 20, 2021. Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America. The world takes a collective sigh of relief. The pundits prepare for calmer news cycles, environmentalists cheer the potential for decisive action against climate change, US allies look forward to more stability, protesters hope that now is the time for change. Or maybe not.

Even if Trump is voted out of office this November – a prospect that is far from certain – many of his institutional legacies will remain. The Trump administration has acted far more strategically than the president’s tweet cycles may have led casual observers to believe. It indiscriminately thinned policies and programs upon which many Americans depend. And while Biden has envisioned a presidency similar in scope to that of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt by rebuilding core democratic institutions¹, none of the plans developed by his diverse team of experts will be possible without Congressional support.

It was not so long ago that Obama’s efforts to pass legislation were stonewalled by a Republican-controlled² ³ Congress. One may recall the government shutdowns over budget negotiations, the refusal to consider⁴ Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland and, of course, the protracted fight over healthcare reform⁵. Republicans have not been shy about their intention to be uncooperative; as Senator Voinovich told reporters in 2012, their strategy boiled down to “If he was for it, we had to be against it”⁶.

There is no reason to expect Republicans to adopt a different modus operandi if Biden is elected. It is possible for Democrats to take control of the Senate this fall, but pollsters say it will be a tight fight⁷ ⁸. This is why US American voters at home and abroad are not only invested in the top of the ballot – the presidential choice – but also “down-ballot” races, where crucial congressional seats are chosen, and innumerable state level and smaller jurisdictions such as county, city and town elections that exert daily influence on the well-being of US residents.

Democrats Abroad is committed to educating US citizens living abroad on these crucial races, alerting its overseas communities to follow and support pivotal elections if there is any hope of keeping the House of Representatives and taking back the Senate in the fall. These exciting candidate profiles include individuals who could be the first Black Latina in Congress, the first Black doctor in Congress, a clinical psychologist¹¹ ¹² focused on fixing US healthcare, and an Iranian-born lawyer turned political activist. These candidates are not only meaningful to watch for the legislative power their victories would represent; but they also serve as a portrait of a changing demographic and political landscape in the United States. Even more than the presidential race, these down-ballot races may hold the key to the future of American politics.

For more information on these candidates and this story, please contact [email protected]. More information about Democrats Abroad Switzerland can be found at our website, https://www.democratsabroad.org/ch. We can also be found on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) at @swissdemocrats.

DACH Aktivmitglied Miriam Victory Spiegel steht Ihnen als Ansprechpartnerin auf Deutsch/Schweizerdeutsch gerne zur Verfügung. Frau Spiegel kann unter +41 79 215 74 27 oder [email protected] erreicht werden.

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¹ https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/05/joe-biden-presidential-plans.html
² https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/republican-party-obstructionism-victory-trump-214498
³ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-24343698
⁴ https://www.npr.org/2018/06/29/624467256/what-happened-with-merrick-garland-in-2016-and-why-it-matters-n ow?t=1599809316877
⁵ https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/voters-premiums-insurance-vote-2016-trump/546896
⁶ https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/republican-party-obstructionism-victory-trump-214498
⁷ See below for infographic on the current makeup of Congress: https://images.app.goo.gl/KNejzWhwiMyNHLAw6
⁸ https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-latest-senate-polls-show-some-good-news-for-democrats
⁹ https://www.texastribune.org/2020/09/10/texas-candace-valenzuela-congress
¹⁰ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/us/politics/cameron-webb-wins-virginia.html
¹¹ https://emilyslist.org/candidates/christina-finello-20
¹² https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/26/dan-crenshaw-sima-ladjevardian-texas-congressional-race

INFORMATION SHEET
QUICKVIEW STATS and FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Over 19,000 U.S. citizens live in Switzerland; of those, about 15,000 are of voting age.
  • DA Switzerland membership has grown by 27.3% since February 2020.
  • DA Switzerland has chapters in Zurich, Basel, and Geneva, which are hubs for expats.
  • Democrats Abroad is the state Democratic party for overseas Americans.
  • We represent the 6.5 million eligible voters overseas (out of 9 million total). That’s a larger population than all but 11 US states.
  • We have approximately 200k members in over 190 countries around the world, and 45 active country committees.
  • We provide members with tools to help them stand up for democracy in America, through voter registration training, regularly published actions, events and marches, and a friendly community of like minded American citizens living abroad.
  • During election years, our focus is to get out the vote and advocate for overseas American issues, through our own members, outreach volunteers, and resources like votefromabroad.org, which helps every American overseas request and receive their ballot. 

FAQs

How large is the organization Democrats Abroad?
Democrats Abroad is the largest organization of civilian Americans outside the US. We are 100% volunteer-led, with active chapters across six continents and members who vote in every U.S. state and congressional district.

We represent the 6.5 million eligible voters overseas (out of 9 million abroad, total), with almost 200,000 activists and voters members in over 190 countries around the world. Our extensive reach goes far beyond our 45 country committees through engaged, active online communities of Americans around the world.

How is DA financially supported? Do you get donations from abroad?
We are supported by generous donations from our US citizen members as well as Americans living in the US who value our work and see us as a natural, critical resource to tap into a huge number of potential voters.

We also, from time to time, receive small grants from the DNC to help support specific projects.

Special note: We never accept donations from corporations or foreign citizens.

How long has Democrats Abroad been active?
There have been patriotic Americans abroad virtually since the country’s inception! But as an organization, Democrats Abroad has been continuously active since chapters were first established in Paris and London in 1964.