For everyone who said ignore the predictions, just work your ass off to get the results we want, we have been vindicated! (Mostly!)
For the first time since 1934, the party in the White House retained every Senate seat – and in this cycle, we even picked up an open seat!
In the House, the red wave ended up being something of a reddish oozing trickle, leaving a narrow and fractious majority that will require Kevin McCarthy to continually chip off *little pieces of his soul to gain the Speakership and manage his caucus.
*Is it possible to chip off pieces of your soul if you don’t have a soul to begin with?
None of the swing state down-ballot election stealers championed by Trump for Secretary of State or Attorney General were elected, though a few won in deep red states. All in all, Trump and his election lies were the sloppy kiss of death for candidates he supported.
The democrats flipped some swing state legislatures and passed state-wide initiates protecting the right to vote and the right to choice.
And now last night… Reverend Warnock’s convincing victory was the cherry on top of the chocolate ganache on a very yummy chocolate cake.
It was a good cycle.
Is it crazy to believe that Balloon Juice helped get us to those victories by raising nearly $1,000,000 in strategically focused, targeted funding? ($930,000!)
Since 2020, we have concentrated on strategic, targeted fundraising.
- Getting out the vote and protecting ballot access, particularly in communities of color in swing states.
- Identifying and funding vulnerable Congressional incumbents and promising challengers in swing states who were underfunded and overlooked (or severely outspent by dark money). We believed in Marie Gluesenkamp-Perez and others when the Democratic Party didn’t. Go us!
- Identifying and funding down-ballot candidates in swing states with election oversight responsibilities.
- Occasional “flash fundraising” for candidates and organizations with an immediate need.
- We also experimented with a new category of swing districts in swing states (more on this later).
Starting this coming Monday, we’ll begin a series of posts looking back on our efforts.
First up will be a summary of our multi-faceted efforts in Michigan – with our victories on several fronts, Dems have surely set up a firewall there! Then we’ll focus on Arizona and Nevada, two other states where we supported organizations, GOTV efforts and down-ballot and Congressional candidates. After that, Georgia and Wisconsin. What all these states have in common is that Balloon Juice funded boots on the ground in every one of them, as well as supporting candidates at various levels.
After that, we’ll review our Winnable House Races in Purple Districts thermometer and take stock of our success – spoiler alert, we had some losses, but our success rate was quite good! And we will highlight candidates we supported who narrowly lost but are worthy of our continued attention (i.e., Jevin Hodge in Arizona). Then, we’ll take a look at our “flash-fundraising” and talk a bit more about the swing districts in swing states proof-of-concept experiment. Finally, we’ll end with a post on our non-monetary efforts, including phone-banking and post-card writing.
After the holidays, we’ll also reach out to the organizations we supported for individual postmortems, focusing especially on how they used the Balloon Juice money, whether/how that fundraising made a difference, and what they are contemplating doing in 2023 and 2024. We’re considering doing Zooms, or perhaps videotaped interviews you can watch at your convenience.
Great, great job, Bj peeps!
Overall, I’d say our experiment in targeted, strategic fundraising was a grand success. What say you?
Let’s look back on our efforts, enjoy the victories, figure out what we want to keep doing and what else we might consider. Not to mention keeping special elections and 2024 in our sights. I’m ready to take back the House, one special election at a time!