Together We Elect
No wonder the Georgia GOP tried to axe early voting opportunities. Georgians are turning out in record numbers to cast ballots in the Dec. 6 runoff between incumbent U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel “No Lie is Too Big” Walker.
News outlets have reported on the huge number of voters who stood in lines for hours and voted over the holiday weekend. A total of 180,000 votes were cast -- about 2.6% of the total active voter base in Georgia.
Then Monday arrived, and the hits just kept coming. Monday’s voter turnout shattered all records for one-day early voting in Georgia; more than 239,160 voted.
A U.S .News & World Report article says the early voting trend may very well benefit Warnock. As writer Susan Milligan states, “The youngest Georgia voters are showing up in high numbers in early voting ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff for the Senate seat there, a trend that is expected to help incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock as he fends off a challenge from GOP nominee Herschel Walker.”
Younger voters say they are motivated by body autonomy threats – such as anti-transgender policies and abortion restrictions.
Keon Blair, New Georgia Project chief of field and organizing said that the narrative that younger voters aren’t casting ballots is false. “They keep showing up,” Blair said.
And Walker’s response to the political engagement of Gen Z? He has jumped again off the deep end of bizarre statements, saying that people born after 1990 haven’t earned the right to try to change the country. He used the old “love it or leave it” card hurled against anti-war protesters in the 1960s, saying “they should leave (the U.S.) and lose their citizenship.”
I guess the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Yes, the blue brick wall stopped the alleged red wave . Election Day has come and gone, but it’s not over yet.
Of course, the Georgia U.S. Senate race is continuing with a run-off between Incumbent Raphael Warnock and “Who’s Your Daddy” Herschel Walker scheduled for Dec. 6.
But other races are exceptionally tight, too close to call. And some of these are in one of the 24 states which permit voters who made a procedural error when they cast their ballots by mail to correct the error and have their votes count.
Ballot Curing Now
Two states in particular, Arizona and Nevada, are on the radar of those who are helping Democrats “cure” these ballots. Phone banks are scheduled for each of these states, and volunteers are joining in from around the country. In Arizona, the phone banks will run through Tuesday, Nov. 15, the deadline for voters to correct their ballots, whether it’s a signature in a wrong place, a wrong date, or the like. In Nevada, phone banks are taking place now through Nov. 14.
Making the calls is easy and can be done from anywhere. Callers use their phones and computer-based platforms, such as HubDialer or CallHub. Each organization provides scripts of what to say to voters and how to respond with information regarding how they can make their votes count. Organizations who sponsor the calls, like Mission for Arizona or Nevada Democratic victory always provide support for the callers.
They’re friendly calls. People are glad someone has let them know there’s a problem and how to fix it. They wanted their votes to count when they cast them. They still want their votes to count.
Options to Cure Ballots
You can join the Arizona ballot-curing phone banks at this link.
Or the Nevada phone banks at this link.
If you doubt whether curing 1,000 ballots could do much, consider Pat Ryan (NY-18). He was declared the winner yesterday with only about 1,200 vote margin.
Michael Moore predicted The Former Guy would win in 2016. And this midterm election, he is predicting a solid win for the Dems.
But he (and we) can leave nothing to chance. Only a few days remain before Nov. 8, and there are still numerous ways to make Michael’s forecast come true.
One of the more creative ways Moore is helping ensure he has been correct is by offering to phone your relative or friend who may still be on the fence about voting. He’s made this offer in his Blue Tsunami posting.
“While I can’t fly to a dozen states and go door-to-door with each of you this week, I can do the next best thing: I can personally call your still-undecided brother-in-law and convince him to vote with us. Or your aunt who gave up voting a decade ago. Or your close friend that agrees with us but can’t stand Biden. That’s ok — let me talk to them. If you send me their phone number I’ll try to call as many as I can every day for the next 8 days. I’ll listen to them and then I’ll do my best to convince them to join us. We’ve got nothing to lose here and everything to gain, one vote at a time.”
If you’re not comfortable with asking Michael Moore for a favor, why not make that phone call yourself? Reaching out to someone close to you is the most powerful way to help people understand the importance of voting. The technical term – relational organizing – is three times more effective at mobilizing voters than a door knock, research has shown.
Oh, and if you do want to join the queue of people asking Michael Moore to call the reluctant voter you know, drop him a personal email to: MikesMidtermCalls@gmail.com. Include her/his/their name and number, what your relationship is to them (sister, brother, son, daughter, etc.), and the best time to call. Because of the volume of requests, he vows to do as many as he can between now and Election Day.
But, just to be sure, why don’t you make that call to your Aunt Tilly and your old friend Dan? That way, you’ll know you’ve done your bit.
Looking for more effective things you can do both virtually and in person?
Check out the Together We Elect Take Action page.
Our mailboxes are bursting with messages from candidates asking for help. No surprise, really. We are getting down to the wire, with only a few weeks left to ensure that Democrats win the U.S. House and Senate.
Polls tell us this candidate is pulling ahead. No, it’s that candidate who is inching up. Tossups across the country number in the dozens of races. It would be easy to feel overwhelmed, whether we live in battleground states or if we don’t live in battleground states.
But, we need to – and can – do more than worry and wring our hands, waiting for Election Day.
If you’ve been texting, phone calling, canvassing, or writing postcards to drum up support and get out the vote, you’re familiar with the question we ask voters: Do you have a plan to vote?
So that’s the question we are asking you now: Do you have a plan? But this time we’re not talking about your plan to vote. Instead, we are asking you to make a plan to use your time – the precious little time we have left – to take action.
Please commit to an action a day, or an action on however many days that you have the time and energy.
There are so many options. At Together We Elect, we decided to compile lists of effective actions in significant races. Some candidates will be familiar, like John Fetterman, Tim Ryan, or Cheri Beasley. Others might be less well-known, like Elaine Luria, Matt Cartwright, Jevin Hodge, or Elissa Slotkin. All are running in close races that are winnable with a little help.
Counting down the days to Nov. 8, Together We Elect will give you, every week, an array of great opportunities to text and make calls. You can get access to our Action-a-Day recommendations and links by signing up for the Together We Elect newsletter.
You can also find the lists in the News & Analysis section at the bottom or the home page of our website.
We all want to wake up on Nov. 9 knowing we did all we could to elect pro-choice, climate-conscious, gun safety supporting candidates. If we all do a little, it will mean a lot.
Pundits predict that Ohio will, like Texas, break our hearts. That it is trending too far right to elect TWO Democratic Senators. Although Barack Obama won Ohio in both 2008 and 2012, that was a long time ago, politically speaking. Both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden lost the state to Donald Trump by 8%. And incumbent Governor Mike DeWine has a healthy lead over his Democratic challenger, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. But Tim Ryan is just the kind of candidate who can win Ohio; he IS Ohio. As the Christian Science Monitor said, “The answer (to who what sells in the heartland) appears to be an earthy, plainspoken candidate who bucks liberal party dogma while sticking to positions that are broadly progressive – without scaring off conservatives soured on Trumpism.” That describes Tim Ryan to a tee.
A lifelong Ohioan who lives just a few miles from the house where he grew up , Ryan has fought for Ohio workers and working families — opposing unfair trade deals that would ship jobs overseas, pushing to raise wages, and protecting a secure retirement by strengthening Medicare and Social Security.
This year, Ryan stresses that he is adamantly pro-choice and is a proud cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade. He has voted against defunding Planned Parenthood and other health-care providers, and opposes efforts to restrict access to health-care coverage for reproductive care.
Ryan is running against one of the most extreme Trump-backed candidates,- celebrity venture capitalist J.D. Vance. Vance says he “doesn’t care what happens in Ukraine.” He has suggested that Joe Biden is trying to kill off MAGA voters with a flood of fentanyl and says he is 100% pro-life and would ban abortion with no exceptions.
Polls have been neck and neck from the start with Ryan surging right after the Dobbs decision and Vance closing the gap most recently. “Tim Ryan is running a remarkably strong campaign that is resonating with Ohio voters of every political persuasion and putting Republicans on defense," said JB Poersch, Senate Majority PAC president. But Republican PACs have recently dumped more than $30 million in the race to shore up Vance.
You can decide for yourself - See Tim Ryan LIVE on Zoom and then phone bank to get out the vote. Early vote has already started in Ohio and Ryan needs all hands on deck. Just as he is going to every county in Ohio, Ryan has consistently showed up to cheer volunteers on and answer their questions. It’s not too late to register NOW
Reaching the Top: Volunteer Summit, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 13, has another special guest — U.S. Senate candidate and current Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Barnes has a good shot at unseating Ron Johnson, the Republican whom the Milwaulkee Sentinel called “the most polarizing figure in Wisconsin politics.”
Barnes joins Cheri Beasley, John Fetterman, and Jamie Raskin to speak about how Democrats can win the midterms. Bill McKibben will touch on the crucial environmental issues that will be decided in this election. And Kelley Robinson will talk about the threats to reproductive choice now casting their shadows over the country.
The summit will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. and will also focus on what we can do in four key states -- Arizona, Pennsylvania,Wisconsin, and North Carolina.
Prepare to be inspired and energized. You still have time to register for the Volunteer Summit.
The event is co-sponsored by Together We Elect, the Daily Kos, Activate America, All in for NC, Blue In 22, Field Team 6, Grassroots Democrats HQ, Sister District, Swing Blue Alliance, MA Flip PA, My Rural America, and Swipe Blue.
If you’re waiting until the week before the midterms to start working to elect candidates or to contribute to campaigns, you might want to think again. Early voting has already started in six states. Several more states are initiating voting opportunities even as you read this.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the 2020 election, 69% of voters nationwide cast their ballot by mail and/or before Election Day, the highest rate of nontraditional voting for a presidential election. The percentage rose almost 30 percent from the 2016 election.
These states began the early voting process in September:
Some of these states have extremely important races for U.S. Congress and Senate. In Illinois, two Congressional Districts are open races. Democrat Nikki Budzinski is vulnerable but can win IL-13, which is rated Lean D. In IL-17, however, Democrat Eric Sorensen seriously lags behind the campaign contributions amassed by his Republican opponent, election-denier, anti-choice, pro-gun lobby Esther Joy King.
The new VA-02 district of incumbent Congresswoman Elaine Luria is a true battleground (R+2) and rated a Tossup by Cook. VA-07 incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger is running in a district that is now rated only D+1.
And in Michigan, two Congressional races are close but winnable for Democrats. Hillary Scholten is running in MI-03 in a Lean D race against a newcomer who beat the Republican incumbent in the primary. And in MI-04, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin is facing tough competition from a 100% prolife Republican. Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) have prioritized this race.
The following states have scheduled early voting to start this week:
Arizona’s Mark Kelly is in a Tossup race against Blake Masters, a Republican who has been endorsed by a prominent white supremacist. And a tough redistricting map in Arizona has meant trouble for U.S. House Dems. In AZ-01, Democrat Jevin Hodge running in a Tossup race for an open seat; incumbent Tom O’Halleran (AZ-02) is in a race rated Lean R by Cook Political Report; and AZ-06 is open, with Democrat Kirsten Engel running against a staunch anti-abortion candidate in a Lean R district.
The race for U.S. Senate in Ohio obviously has grabbed headlines with U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan taking on author J.D. Vance in a nail-biter. But there also are three Congressional Districts to pay attention to. Greg Landsman is in a Tossup race against a Republican incumbent in OH-01. Incumbent Marcy Kaptur’s OH-09 is a Lean D race. An open seat in OH-13 is a Tossup, with Emilia Sykes running for Tim Ryan’s current seat.
Twenty-four additional states have early voting beginning in mid- to late-October:
The point is this: Aa good many voters got used to voting by mail or dropping off ballots at collection points during Covid. Many seem to prefer to continue this way of participating in elections.
This means voters are making up their minds earlier than they used to, which signifies that the texting, calling, letter writing, canvassing and donations are extremely crucial now rather than later. So whatever time or money you’ve been considering expending on behalf of the continued existence of our democracy, the time to do it is now.
“The most important election of our lives” characterized the 2020 election. And now we are hearing the phrase again. The control of the U.S. House and Senate will determine what can be accomplished in the next two years and beyond.
Actually, It’s more than that. The elections in every region of the country – close, tossup races everywhere – will set the stage for 2024. And 2024 could bring with it far more than Draconian policy. The next Presidential election will either strengthen or weaken the very foundations of our democracy.
Sounds a bit hyperbolic, doesn’t it? But because so many election-deniers, extreme anti-abortionists, and climate-change-critics are running, the possibility exists that Democrats will find themselves with huge obstacles in at least one of the two chambers of Congress.
What to do? Where to do it? How can we find ways to make sure that the GOP fails to stage the electoral coup that fills its dreams?
And can we do it?
Yes we can. Look at recent history. Democrats worked to create the Blue Wave of 2018, winning 234 seats to Republicans’ 198 in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2020, voters turned out in record numbers to elect Joe Biden President as well as elect two Georgia Democrats to the U.S. House.
The success of those two elections mean that we have the largest investment in climate change, guaranteed health care for veterans, and we are rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and investing in US-based technology. Medicare can negotiate lower drug prices. We need to keep going.
Virtual Policital Rally on October 13
Recognizing those facts, Together We Elect and the Daily Kos are hosting a virtual national summit on Oct. 13 to rally volunteers from across the country to do it all again. The event will feature some great candidates – video messages from Cheri Beasley, NC; John Fetterman, PA; and Jamie Raskin, MD. Appearing live will be environmentalist Bill McKibben and Kelley Robinson, executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. The event also will focus on helping volunteers connect to effective actions in key states and campaigns.
Only four weeks are left to prevent a nation-wide ban on abortion. Only 34/33 days to keep moving forward. Come and hear from the candidates fighting to hold the Senate and the House. And learn how you can make the difference again.
You can sign up here to attend. The event is also being sponsored by Activate America, Sister District, All in for NC, My Rural America, Swing Blue Alliance, and MA flips PA.
U.S. Senate and House race ratings are as fluid as flash floods after a hurricane, and the flow appears to be going in the Democrats’ direction. Maybe flow is too optimistic. Trickle or dribble might be more appropriate.
The Cook Political Report just recently upgraded races in Arizona and Texas in favor of Democratic candidates. Sen. Mark Kelly’s race has been changed to Lean D from Tossup. U.S. House ratings in AZ-01 (Jevin Hodge) and AZ-02 (Tom O’Halleran). as Cook also shifted TX-28 to favor the Democratic candidate, Vicente Gonzalez Jr.
Sabato’s Crystal Ball in mid-September changed Rep. Chris Pappas’ 1st New Hampshire district to Lean D. Sabato also noted that Sen. Maggie Hassan is likely to have an easier time since NH primary voters selected an election-denier who rejoiced when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
A recent analysis of Nate Silver’s 538 says Democrats are favored to win the Senate. The Wisconsin open Senate seat race remains a Tossup, but in the most recent polls (can we trust polls?), Mandela Barnes leads 48.7 percent compared to 47.5 percent for the infamous Ron Johnson. In the House, the 538 forecast is improving for Democrats, but still the Republicans are favored to win there.
The news cycle daily features stories that are strengthening Democrats’ and weakening Republicans’ chances.
Pennsylvania Democrats are capitalizing on the latest stumble by Dr. Mehmet Oz. He released his doctor’s medical assessment after a newspaper pushed John Fetterman into doing so. But, as reported in The Daily Kos, when it turned out his primary care physician is based on Fifth Avenue along Central Park, Manhattan, the proverbial spit hit the fan.
Fetterman’s statement read: “Today Dr. Oz confirmed that he does not actually live in Pennsylvania, because no one who does would have a primary care doctor on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.” The Senate race was already upgraded to Lean D in late August.
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-08) got a boost when the Associated Press wrote that her opponent lied about his military service, claiming he served in Afghanistan. "The NRCC on Thursday canceled the entire $960,000 ad buy it had booked in Ohio’s 9th District to defeat Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur,” said a Daily Kos article.
The number of negative stories related to Georgia’s Herschel Walker (the latest being his company NOT contributing to non-profits as he claims) it’s hard to know what will finally push more voters to abandon him. It’s hard to fathom why Sen. Raphael Warnock is still in such a close battle.
The sticking point is: Only 42 days remain until Election Day. And progress is slow, one point at a time. Is there enough time left to keep both the Senate and the House? Will the missteps of the Republican Party and the widespread support for reproductive rights be enough to swing it?
And how to keep track of what races are close and worth helping? You can do that in a Key Races chart prepared and updated by Together We Elect’s strategic analysis team. The chart shows districts where support can really make a difference. You can access the chart here. Then check out the calendar to find actions to help those candidates and districts even if you are out of state.
Arizona is a prime example of how abortion could affect the midterms.
Just ask Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters. He understands the power of the issue. Since August, he’s backpedaled on his anti-abortion stance and scrubbed his website to try to make himself appear more “moderate.” Still, Masters’ original words about abortion remain -- calling the original Roe v. Wade “a horrible decision” and throwing his support behind a law that saying “that unborn babies are human beings that may not be killed”which would result in a total abortion ban.
Arizona voters have a choice, of course. Sen. Mark Kelly, running for re-election, supports a woman’s right to choose. Earlier this year, he voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation protecting access to abortion care throughout the United States by writing into law the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Masters has a right to be running helter-skelter away from his public stance on abortion. According to the Brookings Institute, state data shows that voter registration is climbing, and most new voters are women. Tom Bonoir, a political consultant wrote in the New York Times that the finding that 69% of new voters in Kansas were women was “… more striking than any single election statistic I can recall , discovering throughout my career.”
To underscore the importance of this trend in Arizona, a recent poll by Center Street PAC, a nonpartisan political action committee, shows that voters in Arizona say they will vote for Democratic candidates over Republican candidates who have taken extreme positions.
Three House Races in Arizona also may benefit from the Republicans’ misstep on pushing their antiabortion agenda and their propensity to elect extremists. Dems are looking to flip AZ-01 (Jevin Hodge), hold AZ-02 (Tom O’Halleran) and AZ-04 (Greg Stanton), and capture the open seat in AZ-06 (Kirsten Engel).
Hodge’s Republican opponent is given an A+ rating from SBA Pro-Life America. O’Halleran is running against Trump-endorsed Eli Crane, who proudly posted a photo of himself with the Knights of Columbus at the March for Life. Stanton, whose race was upgraded to Likely D by the Cook Political Report, is facing Kelly Cooper, who states on his campaign site: “The unborn will have a friend in Congress when I am elected.” (I guess Cooper didn’t get the Repub memo on staying away from the abortion issue). And in AZ-06, Engel is running against Juan Ciscomani, a father of six who is fully anti-abortion
On-the-ground groups in Arizona like Mission for Arizona,are registering voters, mobilizing volunteers, and promoting Democratic candidates since the 2020 election. Mission for Arizona is teaming up with Together We Elect to show just how volunteers from out of state can work remotely to help Democrats up and down the ballot.
At a free Zoom event on Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 7 to 8 p.m. EST, Congressmen Stanton and O'Halleran will make appearances along with Hodge, who is running to defeat David Schweikert in Arizona 01. In addition, AZ State Senator Raquel Teran, chair of the AZ Democrats, will appear live, as will Adrian Fontes, who is running for AZ Secretary of State. The event will also provide links to volunteer opportunities.
You can sign up here for Arizona Now: A Call to Action.
As we approach the November midterm elections, Wisconsin is looking more blue.
Current views are that the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin is one of a handful more likely to flip. Dynamic Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes is poised to send Ron “Conspiracies R Us” Johnson into retirement. A growing number of polls are showing Barnes with the edge, though the polls do still swing from one to the other.
Even CNN, which seems to enjoy tilting to the right these days, moved Wisconsin up two spots on its list of flippable U.S. Senate seats. Barnes’ success must be getting to the GOP. The NRSC is going all out to defeat Barnes, saying that his numbers will look different once they're done with their attacks.
But Barnes has hit back. He called the GOP scare-tactic ad that claims he supports defunding police with his own ad, calling it for what it is – a lie. “I'll make sure our police have the resources and training they need to keep our community safe and that our communities have the resources to stop crime. Before it happens, I'll bring back manufacturing and I'll pass the middle-class tax cut. And if that's too scary for Washington, then so be it.”
The excitement over picking up a Senate seat is prompting Together We Elect and the Daily Kos to sponsor a special Zoom event focusing on the races in Wisconsin. The Thursday, Sept. 15 event – open to all – will feature Ben Wikler, chair of the WisDems.
Wikler has been a frequent guest on the popular political podcast “Pod Save America” and is the go-to guy that media outlets turn to for insightful comments. Here’s what Politico wrote about Wikler:
“Since taking over as chair in 2019, he’s raised nearly $100 million, believed to be a fundraising record for a Democratic state party, and helped President Joe Biden win the tipping point state of the 2020 election, which helped Democrats rebuild their Midwestern ‘blue wall.’ Now, Wikler’s machine is facing its biggest test, one that will ripple into 2024.”
Wisconsin’s Congressional District 3 is also a race to watch. The retiring U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D, leaves open one of the country’s most competitive swing seats. WI State Senator Brad Pfaff, the former Wisconsin secretary-designee of agriculture, trade, and consumer protection, won the state's Democratic primary. He will face Republican Derrick Van Orden, whose campaign website continues to rant about schools being closed in the pandemic. But Van Orden narrowly lost to Kind in 2020, which has the GOP itching for a flip. And the district is rated R+4.
Wisconsin is a tough battleground. The two most recent presidential elections were decided by less than 1 percentage point. Biden defeated Trump by 0.7 points, and Trump defeated Clinton by 0.7 points.
You can get more information on the Wisconsin Congressional races and you can sign up to attend the Sept. 15 free Zoom event, which starts at 7 p.m. EST
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