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I'm in the Midwest and have been writing about Jason Ritchie (D) in WA-08. I can understand when there is low turnout because people have to go to the polls, have to have ID, have to get off work, the weather is bad, they don't realize there is an election, etc.  Washington voters have ballots mailed to them and all they have to do is mail them back. You know the state, you know why Democrats might not participate and you have probably thought of solutions to get them to vote. Let's problem solve. It doesn't matter what has happened in the past, these are very different times and that means everything is in play.

Cruz stopped the House GOP immigration reform bill and there is talk he wants a shutdown. They want to impeach President Obama and are trying to set up a situation on immigration reform where he has to take action using EO's and they can impeach. President Obama is telling them he's going to govern and to bring it on. There is no telling what the wankers in the GOP will do before the election or how it will effect the midterms, but they are clearly declaring war and we should GOTV like crazy and be ready to create some upsets.

This is not 2010. There is no sign of a Republican wave in 2014. Sick of Reichert? Take action to send him home:

Jason Ritchie (D) has been working hard on a shoestring budget. Team Ritchie is not stopping. They are energized and going for the win. We can make a huge impact on his campaign by donating.

Nominate Jason for Mayday PAC funding. My diary with information about Mayday and what they are looking for here. Or you can go directly to the short Mayday PAC form here. This would be a game changer.

More below the fold.

Theory seems to be that turnout is higher when there is a high profile race. Predictions were for 40% participation in Washington's primary because there wasn't a statewide race like Senator.

It's so easy to vote this way that the only reason I could imagine Democrats wouldn't vote is that they don't know the candidate or haven't been touched by his campaign. Team Ritchie is working hard to GOTV. The only thing I could think of that would take it to a new level would be television ads, which means money. You live there or know the voters. What is going on?

Jason and his team have been going all out on grassroots GOTV. Brat showed in VA-07 that when there is an unpopular candidate and a hot-button issue, grassroots can make the difference. Congressional GOP may provide the issues that ignites voters. They are certainly trying to.

Here's what Team Ritchie is doing:

GOTV: Daily phone banking. I know they also go door-to-door, but not the schedule. Research shows that reluctant voters can be mobilized to vote by personal contact AND they are more likely to become repeat voters.

AdAge featured Team Ritchie training in the latest grassroots technology to reach Democratic voters:

...."The VAN" is the hub for the voter file data that is accessed by left-leaning campaigns across the country to organize and manage door-to-door contact lists for canvassing, and ingest new data gathered as by volunteers as they meet with voters....

....Interns working with the Jason Ritchie For Congress in Washington's 8th district got training on the NGP VAN system recently from the Democratic campaign's Field Director Shayna Daitch....

Jason is on Twitter and Facebook. He writes about political issues for Huffington Post. He recently had a reddit Q&A.

Direct contact: Jason and his team have been on meet and greets or other events every Saturday.

Endorsements: Almost all, if not all, Democratic organizations and politicians in Washington. Unions, Democratic supporting organizations.

He has been featured in news in WA-08.  His team brought Reichert to the attention of Bill Maher who chose him for 1 of 16 worst Republicans in the House for his Flip A District contest.

I'm sure I'm forgetting or don't know about other actions he is taking. Team Ritchie will continue to work hard and reach more voters.  

What else can be done?  All I can think of is television ads. What are your ideas?

Be a part of the blue tide in WA-08:

Jason Ritchie for Congress

Ritchie For Congress
P.O. Box 2165
Issaquah, WA 98027


Be a field organizer

Follow Jason on Twitter: @Ritchie4wa8

Like Jason on Facebook: Ritchie for Congress

Let's DO this!

Originally posted to Seattle & Puget Sound Kos on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 12:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Koscadia and PacNW Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'll be in and out for awhile (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whl, Penny GC, NWTerriD

    but I will check back as soon as possible. I'm looking forward to your perception of WA-08 voting habits.

    I'm on Twitter: ThisMagicalEarth@MagicalEarth

    by ParkRanger on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 12:20:34 PM PDT

  •  Our HD in Colo has some success with this: (4+ / 0-)

    Since it seems that you already have a fairly sophisticated way of targeting and reaching voters through phonebanks (and maybe door-to-door?), here's an additional step that might help. Dems in our own house district in Colorado respond well to it.

    1) Make sure there is a mechanism by which the phonebank and canvassing organizers can determine whether somebody has sent in their ballot yet. Usually this kind of information comes from the Secretary of State office, or maybe the county. (You're probably already set up to do this.)

    2) On the phone lists and canvassing lists, cross off the people who have already sent their ballots in. (You're probably already prepared to do this too.)

    3) In all the phone and in-person conversations with potential voters, tell them that the phone calls and doorbell-ringing will stop as soon as you know they have sent in their ballot. Talk about motivation to vote!

    •  Thanks, Joe! I'm in Indiana and joining in the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Penny GC

      Ritchie Team from a distance. I'm in a red district and the Democrats are so ill-informed they vote for the 1st person on the list in the Dem primary -- which has been someone who does nothing at all for the last three elections. We have had good progressive candidates running each time who raised money, got endoresments, did all the right things, but in our case people actually had to go to the polls.

      It's frustrating, but I'm putting my energy in this campaign because Jason Ritchie inspires me. I wish I could vote for him, but I can do this much at least (and donate, Tweet, etc.)

      I will pass along these thoughts. They seem on top of things so I suspect they do this. This will be helpful to anyone running a GOTV operation.

      I'm just astounded more voters don't participate when it as easy as they make it in Washington!

      I'm on Twitter: ThisMagicalEarth@MagicalEarth

      by ParkRanger on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 02:09:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WA's computerized voting count system in fact has (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ParkRanger, bleeding blue

        the capacity to determine which voters have not yet returned a ballot, and the Democratic Votebuilder mechanism can print that out for your personal district or precinct, each day if you need it.

         One of the things we forget about voting and why mail in ballots don't get mailed in, other than not having a stamp since grocery stores sell them here, is that there are a lot of folk who, um, aren't interested in politics as such at all, and for whom the privacy of the mail- in ballot allows them to conceal the fact from the friendly neighborhood precinct voting center operators that either they can't decide who to vote for or don't care, or whose life is eating them alive so they forgot about the ballot altogether, and their absence from saluting the neighborhood precinct voting center operator on voting day will therefore not be a public act of omission which may in other places send a volunteer to your door to see if you are OK in a place where the operators in fact know everyone in their precincts including who hasn't shown up yet.

        One complication here is that what elsewhere is called an election volunteer, the person responsible for getting the campaign lit distributed, petitions circulated, voters registered and then out the door to vote on voting day and the like in a lot of eastern places, is here an elected official and has been since 1907. It is an unpaid office however, for one precinct, and a substantial number of all precincts in WA do not have one to do the basic organizing of lit distribution, voter registration and the like. And newspaper and TV campaign coverage is notable by its absence.

        •  Thank you Christy! That is VERY different (0+ / 0-)

          than here in my Midwest red state. I'm amazed.

          I guess the closest we would have is a Democratic county chairman. There is supposed to be one for every county, but my county doesn't have one. Democrats are so demoralized they are almost non-existent for local or county elections.

          I find it very hard to even find out who is on my ballot, let alone anything else about the candidates or their stand on the issues.  I don't get that information locally, I go online. And in the Dem primary for rep, usually the first name on the list wins.  Three years in a row it's been someone with no presence, no money, no effort to run except to have a name in the early part of the alphabet. And we've had good progressives that tried hard.

          I was wondering about WA-08 and why people would register to vote if they weren't interested in voting. You explained it.  And, of course, it is the same for in-person voting if they don't care or have life events to deal with.

          I must admit, it sounds a little creepy to have someone watching to make sure you vote and are registered so I understand how ballots work well in that regard.  It just sounded like such a luxury to me to have ballots mailed so that I would know the candidates and easily return them.

          I really appreciate your comment. It's very enlightening.

          I'm on Twitter: ThisMagicalEarth@MagicalEarth

          by ParkRanger on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 08:03:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Getting people to vote is getting them to take (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            responsibility for their part in what consequences flow from the results of elections. If you defeat the school bond issue,  you lose the school nurse, teachers, supplies, . . . If you defeat the transportation bond issue, expect bridges to fall down.  If you don't like candidate X but don't vote against him, what damnably stupid things he does are partially on you.

            The last pitches to voters here are not necessarily just vote for the pitcher's candidates, but to vote at all.

            •  Yes, especially for low-information voters (0+ / 0-)

              Make it personal to their life.  Minimum wage for example. Roads like you say.

              Around here people don't have a clue how congress works or why there is such conflict over bills. So many Fox watchers. I can't stand it and don't talk politics anymore with any GOPers, even family.

              I like the idea of the campaigns knowing if ballots are returned, that's helpful to them to focus and helpful to the voters so they don't get calls when it's not needed.  

              You've given me a lot to think about. I appreciate your taking the time to comment.  Very helpful!

              I'm on Twitter: ThisMagicalEarth@MagicalEarth

              by ParkRanger on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 11:09:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I was principal and manager of a medium ad agency (6+ / 0-)

    I worked like a dog on Pres. Carter's 1976 campaign. I began as a phone call voice in a thinly disguised polling company. My work was noticed, so I managed a phone bank and began to be consulted about the "results" of the polling.

    On 3 occasions my information clashed with the opinions of a statewide campaign manager--who was totally supported by a national coordinator. Neither one of them knew what they were talking about. As a professional ad manager I knew they were wrong and ignoring standard marketing practices.

    In 1980, I only phone banked and stayed away from the self-styled experts. If you watch MSNBC regularly (I no longer do), it should become thoroughly obvious that political campaign managers and consultants don't know much. And watching almost all of their stupid, repetitious, boring television commercials proves my point. It may be that Romney's advisors blew him up with that ridiculous Jeep TV commercial--hope for Reichart to do the same.

    If you have input to Ritchie, tell him/them to take 3 specific actions:
    1. Pay for and produce (with a major Puget Sound ad agency) 2 radio spots--one of 60 seconds and one of 120 seconds. The :60 focuses on a Reichart negative such as his opposition to the Ex/Im Bank renewal or immigration reform--stick to one thing! The :120 states Ritchie's "positive" positions on jobs, women's reproductive rights, EPA and environment, corporate "personhood," and Boeing. The campaign must then run those commercials ONLY in morning drive time on stations with the best 25 to dead demographic.
    2. Draft low-cost, black & white, tri-fold "one sheets," 8.5 x 11, front and back negative descriptions of Reichart's most dumbassed votes. Make certain that the Thomas Register and CQuarterly have the goods--photocopy the records. Use a union print shop. Get an angel to pay for the stuff--it won't cost much. Hand them out to everyone. "Can you believe Reichart voted to reduce Veterans benefits 5 different times," etc. Make some new and different ones every couple of weeks.
    3. Minimize TV advertising because most people hate the political spots . . . but, Ritchie must have a presence in all of the local TV news programs, morning, noon, night and late. Go cheap. The TV commercial can be produced by any competent film crew in Washington, DC. That's right, Ritchie flies to the Capitol and gives a spiel on the steps. The basic message will be send me here and I'll work for the people of WA 08.

    The radio :60 drives up Reichart's negatives to an audience of commuters. The one-sheets become throwaway putdowns of stupid stuff common to the GOP brand--but absolutely prove that Reichart voted for the stupid. The TV spot on the Capitol steps proves to the viewer that Ritchie belongs there.

    We're all just working for Pharaoh.

    by whl on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 01:22:20 PM PDT

    •  This sounds great!!! I'm in Indiana, doing this (0+ / 0-)

      from a distance, but do communicate with the campaign manager. He's not at all like the experiences you had.

      One problem is that they are literally on a shoestring budget. I'm not privy to their information, but the last numbers I saw in a news article 2 or 3 weeks ago was $180,000 raised by Ritchie and almost $900,000 by Reichert (all big corps,GOP PACs including Cantor's PAC).

      And because I'm doing this from a distance I'm out-of-the loop on details of what they are doing.

      A shoestring could afford handouts though and he does so many meet and greets.  That is a great idea.

      I will send the info to the campaign manager ASAP.

      I learned so much from your comment and would love to read some diaries from you about your experience.

      I'm a Baby Boomer and remember when Carter ran. it seems to me he started at least a couple of years ahead and would go wherever people would listen to him no matter the size of the group.

      I still just absolutely do not understand people not voting when they have the frigging ballot sent to them. To me there should be 70-80% participation.  

      Team Ritchie did produce a YouTube video. Very low budget, but I thought it was a clever idea. I could see something similar for a TV ad. Calling all angels!!! :)

      Again, I appeciate your thoughts very much!

      I'm on Twitter: ThisMagicalEarth@MagicalEarth

      by ParkRanger on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 02:24:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Radio spots and handouts are shoe-string (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, ParkRanger

        Television and newspaper ads are the huge cost drivers.

        Ritchie is faced with terrible odds. Reichart took 63% of the primary vote.

        Ritchie scored 28%. Adding in the 9 percent for the other Democrat in the primary totals about 37% which shows the money sources that there is an extremely low probability of success for Ritchie.

        He can plod on, but without much support from the power elites. As most observers know, Reichart could have a coronary event or stroke, oppo research could find that he's on the take or in the tank with some sugar daddy or corporation, some hackster in the media could find or generate a scandal, etc., but other than some bolt out of the blue Ritchie is in a tough slog.

        And right there is the principal reason that people choose not to vote. The completely outnumbered Democrats in WA 08 have no incentive to vote in a not-very-competitive race. The dominant Republican only needs to spend enough to get 50% plus 1 to mail their ballots. Being the incumbent brings huge blessings.

        Also, the Democratic money sources will not help Ritchie because there are, apparently, other races that stand far better odds of resulting in success.

        Gloom, despair, and agony are the norm for challengers.

        We're all just working for Pharaoh.

        by whl on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 04:23:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Success breeds success" (0+ / 0-)
          but other than some bolt out of the blue Ritchie is in a tough slog.
          Yep, square on the nose.

          People don't like to vote for a loser.  Campaigns have to have real supporters, and lots of them.  Word of mouth can be incredibly motivating, and lack of any kind of presence can be very demotivating.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 06:56:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've known campaigns where candidates (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            just didn't show up, Odysseus, and this isn't one of them.

            They have been doing meet and greets every Saturday, GOTV, endorsements, meeting with Democratic organizations and reaching out in news interviews and in other ways. They are working hard and they will increase their base and response in the general. That's November. For now it's GOTV and I will be a part of it in any way I can.

            Peace out.

            I'm on Twitter: ThisMagicalEarth@MagicalEarth

            by ParkRanger on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 08:42:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I understand your assessment, but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          He will energize Democratic voters that can help on the state or local level.  He can get new Democratic voters registered. GOTV contact does mobilize voters and they are more likely to vote in the future.  He can become known and run in 2016 when more Democrats will be voting.

          As for midterms, Jason's an excellent candidate and I'm going to do all that I can. I do understand your assessment about how voters and Democrats in power will view the results and thought that myself -- they want to be assured of a win. I don't care!!! LOL!! No gloom or despair with Team Ritchie or with me, whl.  I have seen contests where people were written off and came out winners and this one is very worth it to me.

          And further, I never underestimate the GOP's ability to make an ass of themselves, especially with Cruz now apparently running things.

          Reichert's approvals were underwater during the GOP shutdown last October and Cruz is threatening another one.  They are drunk with power and going home to hear their base tell them how wonderful they are for being obnoxious and to do even more. Who knows what they will do, but their ability to overstep rational boundaries seems to be limitless and has cost them races before.

          I really appreciate your comments. They are very illuminating for me.  Again, I would love to see a diary from you on using media in grassroots campaigning or whatever interests you.

          It doesn't cost anything to nominate Jason for Mayday PAC funding so I hope you will help with that.  And join me in donating.

          It's not over til it's over...and it is definitely not over. :)

          I'm on Twitter: ThisMagicalEarth@MagicalEarth

          by ParkRanger on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 08:33:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This drifts backwards to bad national decisions (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Governor Doctor Howard Dean generated and implemented a 50-state strategy that worked. In that process, Ritchie would have received some funding from the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Not now.

            The Obama campaign morphed itself from Organizing for America into Organizing for Action. Action should have been working on get out the vote with Ritchie . . . but who knows the favored ones? I cannot recognize their selection principles for which Congressional Districts receive activists trained in GOTV and coordinators on scholarships to advise campaigns.

            Perhaps, also, as in my district, the local Democratic Party is focused on electing mayors, city council members, county commissioners, and state senators & representatives, so they put no time, energy, or money into what should be the much more important election of a congress critter.

            I agree about not writing Ritchie off. If he's working hard and campaigning the bolt out of the blue or the October surprise or the massive GOP nationwide failure could smite the incumbent.

            I have my own small fish to fry, locally, so good luck with your efforts.

            We're all just working for Pharaoh.

            by whl on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:08:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kudos to your fish dinner! LOL! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I know Jason has gotten the endorsements of about every Democratic group in WA state as well as politicians, teachers, unions and a lot of others. I know he attends their fundraising picnic type events. I know the WA Dem groups put the word out about him because I've seen it. All this from a distance.

              OFA asked us what we we wanted when Pres Obama was elected for the 2nd term and we wanted to keep working with him.  So it morphed into Organizing for Action to support his agenda.  I approve of that of course. It was a group he put together to support his election so it would have just gone away I think after 2012. It wouldn't have supplanted the DNC, DCCC and DSCC.

              President Obama fund raises all of the time for Democrats and he pulls in the money.  I don't know how it's allocated, but he's very effective.

              The DCCC is the group that selects which districts it funds for Red to Blue or emerging districts. And if we can get more money in Jason's coffers then they will notice. They do ad buys even for campaigns that are not selected for the full Red to Blue treatment.

              Howard Dean's DFA does fund campaigns too. I haven't been involved with that group. Just a quick check and I see a lot to look at. I'll if there are any opportunities there for me to diary.

              Democracy for America/

              I agree with you about the 50 state strategy. Perhaps Dems will come back to it seeing what a mess it's been with GOP winning Govs and local elections. 50 state helps on all levels.

              The thing about Reichert is he looks so goofy nice and sounds so reasonable.  People just are not aware of what he is voting for. That's something is happening everywhere.

              Smiting sounds good to me! I like it.  Cruz has an immense ego and he doesn't let himself get distracted by the establishment GOP. This should be interesting when they come back from their August break.

              I plan to write lots more about Jason.  I have enjoyed your comments and learned a lot.  Thank you!


              I'm on Twitter: ThisMagicalEarth@MagicalEarth

              by ParkRanger on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:38:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  whl, I was so enthused by your comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I missed this part "The basic message will be send me here and I'll work for the people of WA 08."

      I don't want to step on any toes, but I do want to support this great progressive candidate.

      I've emailed my diary link to the campaign manager and told him about your comment. As I said, I'm an enthusiastic supporter working from a distance and not a part of the campaign or decisions.

      I thank you for the offer! I really believe Jason can win.  now I have to leave and won't be back until later. Thank you for the info and encouragement.

      I'm on Twitter: ThisMagicalEarth@MagicalEarth

      by ParkRanger on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 02:58:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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