Message from the Chair
In the spirit of the Truthsgiving, we are incredibly grateful for YOU!
In past emails, I shared that the 2022 election results (not just 2024) would determine whether our democracy would survive. I shared that “winning” meant expanding our Senate seats, holding the House and winning key state races (i.e., Govs in MI, WI, PA and key officials who oversee elections). Because of YOUR help and investment of your time, your money and your network in our democracy over the past few years – we delivered BIGTIME (latest scorecard below).
While our Democracy survived for another day, the storm clouds are still swirling darkly overhead and we have a lot we can learn from this election and much more to do to continue our winning momentum.
Love and Light
Leedonal (Jazz) Moore
• Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus
• Democrats Abroad Interim Int. Secretary
• DPCA Voting Rep. DACH
This month’s newsletter has 3 sections:
What you can do and what’s happening in Georgia
- Action items for you so we win
- Why winning the 51st vote matters compared with 50 votes (hint – it’s not just about Manchin & Sinema)
- Dems’ just won an extra weekend of early voting!
- A couple of thoughts on how/why we’ll win
- Nov 8, 2016 vs. Nov 8, 2022 – two election days with two very different outcomes. One with tears of sorrow, the other tears of joy. I will share thoughts on what we learned from 2010-2016 and what we did differently over these past many years to yield this dramatic difference. I’ll also share the latest scorecard and nitty gritty results.
- 2023/2024 – Like they say in Top Chef “it starts…NOW” – we may have won the battle for the soul of our nation, but we haven’t won the war – plus, there are already special elections upon us for state legislative positions. Here are some thoughts on how we learn from key successes (ie – MI and PA) and apply them in other places to continue our momentum for our democracy in 2023, 2024 and beyond.
- Year End Giving strategy: Many people do year end giving – whether that’s philanthropically or politically or both. Here are a couple of quick thoughts and suggestions:
- While doing your charitable gift distributions, think about the role that elected officials and/or federal funding plays with that non-profit. For example, if you give to environmental non-profits, refugee, or women’s health orgs, know that who’s in office has a profound impact on the effectiveness and work of that org. Thus – think of your political giving as an insurance policy for the issues that matter most to you.
- Political orgs to fund now. I’m an infrastructure nerd and focus my political giving strategy on where I can give that’ll have the best impact. Especially right now as we shore up the foundations of our excellent systems – I recommend donating today: DONATE
And we will continue to fight for Democratic victories and for issues that our members care about!
ATTENTION GEORGIA VOTERS ABROAD!
There will be a runoff election for the U.S. Senate seat in Georgia between Reverend Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) on December 6, 2022. The winner will serve a six-year term, so the outcome of this race will have a lasting impact on Democrats’ ability to keep fighting for issues that just can’t wait, from a woman’s right to choose to racial justice to environmental protection!
The good news: You can vote from abroad in the December 6 runoff election, as long as you were registered to vote in Georgia before November 7, 2022. But you will need to act quickly!
As we just saw in the November 8 midterm elections, every single vote really does count.
FIGURING OUT WHAT TO DO FIRST All information available here:
GET VOTING HELP
Zoom sessions are updated daily - please go to: bit.ly/zoomthevote for additional dates and times!
- DONATE – Here’s the link to still donate! Please give as much as you humanly can!
- VOLUNTEER - Phonebank/travel/engage in some form – best place to find oppys is here.
- Why 51 matters – At the Warnock fundraiser two weeks ago, Sen. Patty Murray distilled down why 51 matters and this article hews closely to what she described. To summarize: with 50, you are in a power sharing agreement for committees and can’t get things done as quickly. At 51, you are in power, no sharing 😊 (judicial – and all - nominations will go much faster as a result of this. It also gives Ds flexibility if someone isn’t well and eliminates any single Senator from having the power equivalency of a veto (like they have today). Lastly, if you do have everyone available, you no longer need to shackle the VP to DC for a tie-breaking vote and she can focus her ample talents elsewhere.
- Big win in court to extend early voting – Republicans in Georgia successful passed voter suppression legislation in the past couple of years that halves the time for a runoff – thus setting runoff timing right after Thanksgiving and nullifying any ability to register new voters in the runoff period. The convoluted language of the new legislation also made it seem like early voting could only start Nov 28th (after the holiday weekend and thus only providing one weekend of early voting – and only one Sunday of Souls to the Polls). Marc Elias – working on behalf of the DSCC and the Georgia state party successfully sued and won the case just the other day to authorize those counties who want, to add next weekend – during thanksgiving weekend when folks may be home and able to vote!
Why we’ll win – A couple of points, made by campaign manager Quentin Fulks, that I wanted to share regarding why we’ll win:
- A high % of people who voted for Walker didn’t like him, but voted for him because they thought that they could take over the Senate. Since that’s no longer on the table, the belief is that many of them just won’t vote in the runoff
- He and his team have had practice doing and winning a runoff. Walker has not.
- The whole Democratic ecosystem across the US and overseas is rallying to help turnout the vote and help him win. Not all Republicans support him.
- Oh – and HE’S THE BETTER CANDIDATE!
A tale of two Nov 8ths
On Nov 8, 2016 – many of us ended the day in a fetal crouch eating tubs of our favorite ice cream. On Nov 8, 2016 – most of us ended the day with smiles, high fives and an extra kick in our step (instead of a punch in the gut).
The question, then, is what learnings did we apply from 2016 (AND from 2008/2010/2012/2014) that led to the success in 2022? And how do we keep the momentum going into 2023 and 2024. First, we’ll look at the scorecard – with some of its implications - and then dive in:
State legislatures: I’m going to dedicate messaging to the success at the state level, but the high level is:
- Defended: Democrats successfully defended EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRATIC chamber across the country (and even expanded seats in some)! This is the first time that has happened in a midterm since 1934 (and maybe ever)!
- Flipped: We also flipped the Michigan Senate and House; the Minnesota Senate; and the Pennsylvania House (MA, MD, MI and MN are now Dem trifectas and give us more laboratories for democracy!)
- Supermajorities: Broken/stopped (protecting Gubernatorial veto authority) in WI & NC; and Won: Vermont Dems won a supermajority in the state legislature and will now hold the power to override GOP Governor Scott’s veto.
State referenda/initiatives upholding CHOICE - Oh Yeah! The people spoke loudly and clearly! There are now great templates for the other direct democracy states if they haven’t already put something in place.
- State constitutional protections passed in CA, MI and VT
- Voters rejected efforts to curtail abortion rights in KS, KY, and MT
- Democracy WON as Election deniers LOST – This great article highlights that all those who might have been in a position to influence elections and who denied the results of the 2020 election LOST (including Kari Lake)!
- Core Four Senate: Hassan, Kelly, Cortez-Masto, Warnock – Won 3 already. 4th – got the most votes, but now at a runoff
- Flip 3 Senate: WI, NC, PA - We delivered PA, but, sadly, fell short on WI and NC.
- Hold the House: SO close! But we fell short. However, this gives me hope that, in 2024, with Presidential levels of turnout and time to operationalize and enable people to feel the benefit from all that’s been passed, we’ll get it back. In other words – with seats like Boebert's only being won by less than 1K votes, we can kick their butt. Plus – Rs will have a bear of a time holding their caucus together with such a slim majority.
- Defending those with impact on 2024 Presidential election: MI, WI, PA - 3 for 3!!!
- Flipped AZ (wow – that’s an unexpected flip!), MA, MD and held KS!
- Sadly, lost NV
- Patty Murray won commandingly. Excitingly, with Dems holding the Senate, she has been named President Pro Tempore (first woman to do this – also makes her 4th in line for the Presidency) and also named Chair of Appropriations. These two positions put a mom in tennis shoes in roles with responsibility and prestige! Note – if we get 51 in the Senate, she’ll probably do most of the presiding over the Senate instead of the VP!
- Marie Perez – As I shared in this FB post, Michelle Goldberg of the NYTimes did an amazing job in this piece capturing the essence of the race and of what Marie represents for our party, our state and our future!
- All else – we won a full term of the Secretary of State race for the first time in decades, held all our other congressional seats and even expanded our position in the state legislature!
- Polls and signs don’t vote – people do (Hello Marie Perez who they gave a 2% chance of winning)
Anti-Gerrymandering efforts worked –
- In 2010, we lost 1,000 state legislative seats because we didn’t invest in state legislative races like the Rs did. They then took control of the state houses and gerrymandered the heck out of our country – and tilting Congressional election playing fields. We got our butts kicked in 2012 and we no longer had a representative democracy (ie – in WI, 56% of the votes were for Ds, but that only netted 36% of the seats).
- But a coalition of orgs (DLCC, NDRC, Brennan, DNC, Democracy Docket and others) worked hard to get key people elected (especially state supreme court judges and state legislators), sued to uphold rights from the state constitutions re: fair districts and provided air-cover for citizen’s initiatives – so that a number of key states held 2022 elections (the first election on 2020 maps) on fair maps! PA (court ordered) and MI (citizen initiative) are the best examples.
- These orgs also did a great job raising awareness of redistricting and enlisting citizens to really press for fair maps!
- This is what also gives me hope for Ohio. They’ve been court-ordered to deliver fair maps, but the R-led legislature was able to drag their feet long enough that fair maps couldn’t be in place in time for 2022. But we have enough time for 2024!
- We need to keep up our efforts so that we continue to have even more fair maps over the next decade!
Early and ongoing investments in the infrastructure of the Democratic ecosystem and state parties worked really well.
- Part of the losses in 2016 were because the data and tech were crummy (Even with Hillary pumping millions into the DNC, the tech still crashed a lot, the phone numbers were still landlines, and their emails got hacked). Additionally, the Rs, after 2012, invested $250M in systems that were also exchanging data between soft side (think NRA) and hard side (think RNC and candidates) to improve voter targeting – but the Ds didn’t. Plus – we got feedback in 2016 that we can’t just show up in communities every 4 years – especially battlegrounds – and expect to win. Starting in 2017, D’s invested heavily in tech plumbing, quality data to reach voters (especially cell phones), fighting purging from the voter roles, year-round organizing, voter protection and cybersecurity – to name just a few things. Ds also set up a data-exchange of their own. This led to the wins in 2020. Then – rather than scale back after 2020 as often happened in the past, we kept the teams at the same size and kept things in motion for 2022!
- Looking at the central organization of the Democrats, the DNC, the investments were as follows:
- About $90 million on the 2022 midterms. That’s triple the $30 million spent by the DNC on its entire 2018 midterm strategy. This investment was centered on investing earlier than ever in grassroots infrastructure, including boots on the ground staff, key data and technology tools, paid media, voter protection, and so much more. The DNC also made the largest-ever midterm cash transfer of $27 million to the DCCC and DSCC. This is a lasting infrastructure that won’t just support Democrats now, but will also support President Biden and Democrats in 2024 and beyond.
- As part of that commitment, the DNC made its largest-ever investment in electoral programs supporting state parties. Staff in over a dozen states focused on Black, Latino, AAPI, and Native outreach.
- The DNC, state parties, and coordinated campaigns did outreach in over 20 languages heading into early vote and GOTV. Beginning in the spring of 2021, which is eight months earlier than we began making investments for the 2020 presidential cycle, the DNC began supporting the Democratic coordinated campaigns in key battleground states.
- President Biden and the DNC made the party’s largest-ever midterm investment in voter and election protection. As Republicans have repeatedly proclaimed their intent to make voting more difficult, the DNC invested in a program to protect voters against these novel efforts. Known as the “I Will Vote” initiative, it totals $25 million and involves voter protection, litigation, and anti-subversion efforts.
- Democratic candidate recruitment and development: up and down the ticket, organizations like Run for Something, Emerge, Voto Latino and others invested heavily starting in 2017 to bring onboard great candidates to run for all levels of offices.
- Partnering/collaboration/sharing the load worked: The Democratic institutions are being much more collaborative than in years past (those that are legally allowed to). For example, when you look at the NDRC’s board – you’ll see that it’s populated by many organizations. More collaboration and identifying different organizations’ strengths helped spread the field so that, rather than Dems looking like a 5-year-old soccer match with everyone running to the ball, more passing happened and, therefore, we scored more goals.
- Knocking doors and organizing works: We won in 2020 even without being in person at people’s doors. In 2022 – we were there, in person, and were able to defy the pundits because of it!
- Oh, and it turns out that people don’t want their rights eroded – choice, democracy, etc…
There are no laurels on which to rest.
We need to keep our momentum up and take a long view on our Democracy. Also, keep in mind, these next 2 years are when the administration will operationalize all that Biden and Congress have passed and when we’ll start to see regulatory changes take affect that take as long as 2 years to complete. We’ll also get to see whether Rs can get anything done as they helm the House. The big thing will be whether Dems can effectively take credit for and market the positive impacts that all they’ve done and are doing will have on our nation.
Here is a perspective on 2023, 2024 and beyond for you to start chewing on:
- There will be many state legislative special elections that we can win. PA, for example, will have one right away to replace Austin Davis, a Dem member of the PA House who just won the Lt. Gov. position. Given that Dems just won a slight majority in the PA House, this will be a critical race to win. In NH, we are just shy of the majority, but there are always a lot of special elections in NH and we anticipate an oppy to flip their House!
- Virginia’s Senate will be up in 2023 and will be an important test of whether we can keep our momentum – especially given their horrific Gov Youngkin.
- This article in the NYTimes is a great preview of what the Dems want and need to do to win the WH in 2024 as well as hold the Senate and win back the House.
- It’s going to be a super tough senate map. We’re defending in many purple and/or red states and Rs are defending in only Red states. Key Senate Seats we’ll be defending (there are more than these that are up for re-election, but these will be the toughest): Brown (OH), Tester (MT), Rosen (NV), Casey (PA), Baldwin (WI), Stabenow (MI), Kaine (VA). And then there’s: Sinema (AZ) and Manchin (WV) – we’ll see if either is going to run again and/or who might run for their seats. Regarding Manchin, frankly – I believe he’s the only Democrat we have a chance of electing there. That’s why it’s key to have 51 and not just 50 Dems – so that we can get the value out of him that he has.
Thank you for reading thus far. Finally some additional thoughts with which to leave you:
- We will miss having Speaker Pelosi, but look forward to, potentially, Leader Jeffries! For your civics pleasure, here’s her brilliant exit speech.
- And speaking of civics, it’s worth watching Obama’s speech at the Obama Foundation’s Democracy Forum last week (his speech is at 4:55). Note, the speakers/content are fantastic overall.