Note for the day:
The first Playing to Win went up last Thursday. Are you guys finding it inspiring to see what everyone is doing? These threads are for you guys, so please speak up about what you want and what works for you.
Let’s try Wednesday and Friday mornings, around 9am, and Sunday afternoons.
In the meantime, people have asked for an easy way to find these threads:
· there’s a link in the hamburger (on mobile)
· there’s a link in the sidebar under Calling All Jackals (on computers & tablets in landscape mode)
· click on the Playing to Win category that shows up just under the byline at the top of the post
· if you’re
super lazy worn out from all your work canvassing and calling and texting, click here
I compiled a list of opportunities and resources that you guys shared on last week’s threads, and I’ll continue to do that if that’s useful. The resource page is at the Playing to Win link.
A couple of our jackals requested a regular political “action” thread, which we are calling Playing to Win. We’ll keep this up for as long as there is interest.
The goal is a poll-free, spin-free, prognostication-free, media-free, what’s-wrong-with-the-other-candidate-free-zone – a political thread where the focus is on ACTION: What can be done to help our candidates, and what are we doing to help them, every day?
The hope is that this will help provide inspiration, and encourage action, as an alternative to anger, frustration and despair.
Everyone is free to chime in about what they are doing for their their preferred candidate. What actions are we taking at Balloon Juice, individually or collectively, to help candidates we believe in?
What might you like to do, if you weren’t stuck on not quite knowing how to go from thinking about doing something to actually doing something?
· Make calls
· Write postcards
· Text for your candidate
· Register people to vote
· Give people rides to the polls to vote
· Bring food and drinks to campaign offices in your area
· Be an election judge
· Be a poll watcher
· Put together a bullet list of what you like about YOUR preferred candidate
· Go to a battleground state to work on a campaign.
· Use your frequent flyer miles to send a volunteer to a battleground state
· If you live in a battleground state, host a volunteer who could stay at your house
· Share a great informational article about YOUR preferred candidate
· If you have campaign connections, connect interested jackals with that campaign
· Organize a postcard-writing campaign and help other BJ peeps get started
What else are you doing?
Tell us what actions you’ve taken today, whether it’s calling or donating or canvassing or writing postcards or talking to someone about your candidate, or anything else that’s on that list. Or even something that isn’t!
Forget the other candidates. Tell us what you LIKE about your candidate.
Share your worries or concerns about canvassing or other activities. What’s holding you back?
If Playing to Win appeals to you, what else would you want to see in this space?
For obvious reasons, I can’t offer anecdotes about my participation. But if I may offer a small correction: when you’re going door to door talking to people, you’re canvassing — with two esses.
@Amir Khalid: Hey! All my canvassing had two “esses”. It was my standalone canvass that had only one. :-)
Donations, so far. First one was to Warren. One was to Doug Jones because I have a soft spot for him.
For the rest of my donations, I want to focus on flippable Senate seats. I read that we need basically four to flip (depending on McConnell’s keeping his seat), so I’m trying to find the five most flippable seats (four with one for good measure). My first was to Sara Gideon because I read she’s within 1% of Susan Collins.
Would love to see a thread on ranked flippable Senate seats. If anyone has any suggestions for flippable Senate seats in their states, I’d love to hear what you think.
O. Felix Culpa
I’m a county party chair, which is more than a full-time volunteer job. I had to repair a broken party that split into factions (which had their roots in the divisions of 2016) during the 2018 elections. We still have some divisions along historic ethnic lines due to the unique history of New Mexico, but the suspicion and resentment run so long and so deep that there’s little I can do about it except to remain as open and welcoming and aboveboard as possible. Sadly, it seems the suspicion persists with at least some folks no matter what I do. But I like to think we’re making progress.
We (the party) have to remain neutral in contested primaries, so we’re gearing up for a new initiative to reach out to younger people, a notoriously difficult demographic to get to the polls, but we think it’s worth the effort if we can help at least some become engaged voters. We’ve got some cool newly-designed postcards we’ll be sending to young voters and we’re organizing door-to-door voter registration canvassing. [The theme is “Own Your Power.”] We just finished our county pre-primary election process and convention and last night was our annual Mardi Gras fundraiser. Tonight I kick off our 2020 voter registration drive with our Secretary of State. Last week we had a panel discussion on water issues in our state, which was well presented (albeit somewhat depressing) and well attended. Next month we’re hosting a candidates’ forum for the open congressional seat in our district and the month after that a state supreme court justice and appellate court judges’ forum (they were appointed by the governor but now need to be elected). I also manage – to use the word loosely – our facebook page and website and weekly email newsletter. Apart from that, not much going on. ;-)
@O. Felix Culpa: If you want to send pictures of your cool new postcards, I could post them here for inspiration. (Unless there would be a concern that people might steal the design without authorization.)
O. Felix Culpa
@WaterGirl: Thank you for asking! I’ll check with our designer who does the work for free. She is understandably sensitive about people appropriating her work without permission or acknowledgement. I’ll let you know.
Good morning, pals. Damp wet day in central Virginia.
Perfect day for an early vote. Casting mine for Elizabeth today, and look forward to it.
Cheryl from Maryland
Living in Maryland, most elections are rather Pro-forma for Democrats (except for the governorship — I can’t explain that one other than the media sucks as the current GOP governor has a family real estate development business whose revenue, SURPRISE, has dramatically increased since he won office). However, I’m basically in the DC/VA suburbs, so this year will be my third year writing postcards for VA candidates. There is a great organization – Postcards4VA – Alexandria, which has meetings almost every day at bakeries, etc in NOVA. They provide the postcards and then sort them out among the candidates and mail them, you provide stamps and inspirational GOTV messages. Better yet, the group includes down-ballot candidates — needless to say last November’s election flipping the VA General Assembly was particularly inspiring. This year they are also including Wisconsin. And even better yet, for those of us not quite near-by, one can grab packs of postcards, work on them at home, and return them to the organizers by mail. The group can be found on the evil Book of Faces, or ask a front-pager to e-mail me for their contact information.
Contributing monthly to Gideon, McGrath, Ditch Mitch, and Biden. Individual contributions to Schiff (just on principle), Doug Jones, Joe Manchin. I just ordered a “Right Matters. Truth Matters. Decency Matters.” T-shirt from Adam Schiff’s store.
I can’t canvas for reasons both physical and mental. I simply cannot keep my composure when speaking to Sanders supporters.
@O. Felix Culpa: You do a lot of good work. And apparently have some wicked good diplomacy skills.
And to think that you have to bring them all to bear. Within our own party.
Who vacated the open Congressional seat?
@Cheryl from Maryland: Can you send me a link or contact info for Postcards 4VA? I would like to add that to the Resources list.
You can find my email address under Contact Us, if you don’t know how to do that already.
You can also get to the Resource document from the Playing to Win link (sidebar on computer, hamburger on mobile).
edit: Unless you have concerns about posting the link on our page?
@Reboot: I pay attention to all of the races. My order of flippable Republican seats is: Colorado, Maine, Arizona, North Carolina, Iowa, then the two Georgia seats, both of which are up. Anything beyond that would just be adding to a Democratic majority
I’ve been donating, Warren is probably my top recipient outside of a city council race where I’m close friends with the a candidate (he won last fall – I’m going by cycle here ‘19-‘20 as one spreadsheet waiting to be compiled).
I am (so far lightly, but will be stepping it up) volunteering for MN’s LGBTQAI advocacy group’s C(4) and PAC. I’ll be helping crowdfund for about 12-14 endorsed candidates for MN Senate and House. I’ll be a contributor as well, and will probably reach a couple multiples of the OutFront dozen. Last cycle I supported about 35 MN House races (we have 134, and half again for Senate this time – our whole Senate is up together every 4 years, whole House every two).
We have a really good governor, House is D, Senate is R by two seats. We’ve gotta win back our Senate!
Virginia shares the postcard link far and wide:
It can be a byzantine process sign up, but they are helpful if you have trouble.
Obligatory reminder that unless it is for a special election, PostCard Season is 6 months away. At least.
Gave $100 to Liz Warren. Did it though ActBlue and tipped them 20%. It isn’t enough but it is what it is.
Cheryl from Maryland
@MazeDancer: PostcardsforVA – Alexandria is already meeting and writing. They hold them until it’s time.
Cheryl from Maryland
@WaterGirl: I’d like to check first with the organizer as it’s her personal email. Will get back to you.
From DougJ’s fundraising posts, I get the feeling that he follows stuff like that, so I wrote to pass on your comment above and to ask if he has information on that. Hopefully he will, and will consider doing a post.
@JoeyJoeJoe: If you know them, would you mind including the names of the Republican incumbents and the names of the Democratic challengers for each state?
@Cheryl from Maryland:
That’s smart! Helps with hand cramping. :-)
Colorado: Republican incumbent Senator Cory Gardner. Main challenger is former Governor John hickenlooper.
Maine: Republican incumbent Senator Susan Collins. Main/Maine challenger is Sara Gideon, state house speaker I think.
Arizona: Republican incumbent Senator Martha McSally. Mark Kelly, married to GabrielleGiffords, challenging.
North Carolina: Republican incumbent Senator Thom Tillis. Dems want former state senator Cal Cunningham.
Iowa: Republican incumbent Senator Joni Ernst. Main Dem is Teresa Greenfield.
Georgia seat 1: Republican incumbent Senator David Perdue. Jon Ossoff is challenging Perdue. Multiple Democrats are running.
Georgia seat 2: appointed Senator Kelly Loeffler, who’s being challenged by Doug Collins in the primary. Pastor Raphael Warnock seems like the best one for that seat.
@JoeyJoeJoe: Thank you! I hope you don’t mind, but I took the liberty of editing the format slightly. (I think I parsed Georgia correctly.)
O. Felix Culpa
@Elizabelle: Ben Ray Lujan. He’s running for Senate, since Tom Udall is retiring.
Xochitl Torres Small (NM CD2) is vulnerable in her reelection bid. Support of any kind for her campaign would be greatly appreciated! We will be deploying helpers to her campaign in the general election.
@O. Felix Culpa:
PostCard Patriots sent over 1000 PostCards for Xochitl during 2018.
Having lived n Santa Fe for 12 years, got wistful every time I sent out a batch of names.
Her guy in charge of sending addresses was the best.
Hope to back helping her in the Fall.
But what if the key issues change 7 months from now?
Small donations to Warren and Sarah Gideon (FSM bless her for taking on Susan<insert unprintable words here> Collins!) Canvassing this weekend for Warren, and we’re providing housing for a couple of the Warren campaign organizers while they are up here in Maine prior to Super Tuesday. I would love to toss tons of money to the campaigns, but can’t afford to – so doing the things that aren’t reliant on having lots of disposable income.
I am proud of you all. Thank you for everything that you do. All of it matters.
Cheryl wrote: “They provide the postcards and then sort them out among the candidates and mail them, you provide stamps and inspirational GOTV messages.”
I would guess that the early cards are written with inspirational GOTV messages that will still be true 7 months from now – maybe the supreme court, judges, climate change, whatever. So I’m thinking that writing those wouldn’t be a problem.
But you should ask Cheryl, because my answer is just a guess.
I am so jealous that you get to house campaign organizers! That’s huge.
Quick note: this thread didn’t get much play compared to the others – it’s too early to draw firm conclusions, but I’m wondering if Wednesdays might not be the best choice?
sheila in nc
I started working as a precinct election official in the 2018 cycle. It’s my way of protecting the vote. I was promoted to chief judge for the precinct last year (for the municipal election). I am responsible for the security of the ballots cast in my precinct on election day and I take it very seriously. Trying to make sure we are ready for whoever shows up next Tuesday for our NC primary election. Lots of state races as well as Congress, Senate, Governor, and what’s that other big race again?
My job on election day is to be nonpartisan and to do everything I can both to protect everyone’s vote and to ensure that people are confident in the integrity of the system. Our county Board of Elections is very good and they take their work seriously — as do I. Once the primary is over, I’ll get more engaged in voter registration, etc.
@JoeyJoeJoe: Just got back to see this–thanks, I’ll be looking those up.
@WaterGirl: Don’t know if you’ll see this, but thanks!
@Reboot: You are welcome!
If I hear from DougJ, I’ll say so in the first Playing to Win thread after that!
My local Huddle group is a bunch of pissed off older ladies like me. Through it I reconnected with a lady whose son was in my daughter’s elementary school class (and the kids are now both in their 30’s!) We got together on Monday night and wrote about 350 postcards for Gil Cisneros, a Dem congressman running for re-election. Afterward we had a little social time with pizza and chat. Many of us are still trying to figure out who we’re voting for for President.
Watergirl, I find these Playing to Win posts inspirational as well as helpful. Just de-lurking for a second to let you know I think they give us positive energy and ideas.
The Warren campaign has contacted me to see if I can canvass this weekend. I’m tempted.
@MisterForkbeard: Go for it! And then come tell us about it on the Sunday thread. :-)
@CCL: I’m so glad to hear that!
@WaterGirl: It was kinda funny – like a reverse airbnb. I sent photos of the rooms we had (our youngest has been out of the house for over 5 years now and yet the kids’ rooms still look like teen rooms). In spite of that, we were enthusiastically accepted. I hope our guests don’t mind fuddy-duddies like us.
@MisterForkbeard: DO it!! I’ve only heard good things about canvassing, so I decided to jump in even though I am terribly anti-social. It’s a great reason to stretch out of my little introvert bubble.
I just returned from phone banking for Warren. I brought my 10 yr old daughter who helped organize the snacks for the volunteers and listened in on some of my calls. I am an introvert like a lot of us here, and I will say that one can adapt to the phone calls. The software auto-dials for you, so the next call pops up before you can lose your nerve. The focus right now for Super Tuesday states is about getting out the vote, so it’s a really positive conversation. And some people hang up on you. So what?
What struck me tonight was 1) the other Warren volunteers are a bunch of nice, decent, sincere people who want a better world. 2) My calls to those on Warren’s list were 98% women. Lots of calls to suburban Anne, Mary, Margaret, or Deborah. That being said, I talked to a couple of really supportive men who said they had donated or voted early for Warren. This was the most rejuvenative 90 minutes of my week.
If you haven’t already, please consider getting a little outside your comfort zone and volunteering for the candidate of your choosing. It will feel great!
@seefleur: Speaking as someone who has been from out of state being put up by strangers…
I’m sure you inspire them as much as they inspire you.
Wisconsin is having a very important State Supreme Court race this spring. We have a good candidate in Jill Karofsky, while conservative Dan Kelly is as bad as one would expect. It’s an important race with long-term implications in the state, so we are having a canvass. Since I helped organize the event, I am stuck actually having to knock on doors, which sucks for me because I utterly hate talking to strangers, but it’s important so I will plaster on a smile and do it.
The next post will be on Friday morning, but the link to these posts is in the sidebar (and in the menu bar / aka hamburger on mobile). So the conversation can continue, if desired, even on the off days.
Thanks to everyone for all you are doing.