|DICK, remember back in October of 2016, when the national polls showed Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump? I constantly had people asking me if she was going to win and I always said “yes,” more to reassure myself than anything else. |
Well. I was wrong. Or, I wasn’t completely wrong–Hillary Clinton did win about three million more votes nationwide. However, as we all know all too well, that means nothing because we have the Electoral College, which unfortunately, Trump is president.
Why am I bringing this up now? Because we are only about a year from the next election, and the latest national polls shows that whoever our Democratic nominee will be, they are only a few points ahead of Trump — almost identical to what we saw in 2016.
The lesson to be learned from all this, is that not only do we need to turnout just as many votes as we did in 2016, but we need to be smarter about it. We need to concentrate our resources in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan (which Trump narrowly won, giving him the victory) so we can win the Electoral College, but we also need to be aggressive in states like Georgia and Arizona where we can pick up needed Senate seats.
As we start to prepare for the 2020 election, we need to learn from our past. In 2016 we ran a robust get-out-the-vote campaign, in 2018 we ran our biggest GOTV campaign in Daily Kos history, come 2020, we need to go even bigger and smarter in order to win the White House and the Senate. That’s why I am asking you to give $5 TODAY, so we can win in 2020.
Daily Kos has a robust Get Out The Vote program that few other progressive organizations are able to match in terms of scale and effectiveness. Notably, we also have a decidedly different approach to GOTV than most other organizations.
Here’s what we do. Instead of our running our own GOTV operations, what we specialize in is signing up volunteers for GOTV operations run by other organizations and campaigns.
We do not operate our own door knocking, phone banking, text messaging, letter writing, voter registration, or any other type of voter contact program. Such programs require enormous amounts of temporary staff, tech, data, office space and other forms of overhead that we cannot afford. Further, it is entirely unnecessary for us to run such a program on our own–and would possibly even be a net negative if we did–since so many other organizations and campaigns already have GOTV programs in place. We don’t want to cross wires or remake the wheel.
However, there is something we have in greater abundance than virtually any of the campaigns and organizations that run GOTV operations: the ability to communicate with an enormous number of grassroots activists. We have over five million visitors to our website every month, over three million subscribers to our email list, and millions of followers on Facebook and other social media. As such, we use our relatively small number of activism staff, and our large digital reach, to connect our highly active audience to GOTV programs run by Democratic campaigns and progressive organizations. It’s a perfect niche.
And it really works. In 2018, here is what we achieved:
In conjunction with hundreds of Democratic campaigns and progressive organizations, we signed up 37,583 people for 63,728 GOTV activities–including voter registration, phone banking, door knocking, text banking, driving voters to the polls, and more–in all 50 states.In conjunction with Vote Forward, our volunteers helped write and mail 1,000,000 personal letters to Democratic leaning, unlikely voters in swing districts for the U.S. House, thus plausibly generating an extra 30,000 votes for Democrats in key races.We helped a new GOTV app, VoteWithMe, go viral nationwide. We were the first organization of any size to start promoting it, and generated a few thousand downloads for it. Before long, Jimmy Kimmell, Hillary Clinton and many other very prominent people were urging their audiences to use it. Hundreds of thousands of people eventually downloaded it, and the staff at VoteWithMe directly credited Daily Kos with making this happen
We learned a lot from our successful 2018 effort, and plan to go even bigger in 2020–because we have to. Polling is in pretty much the same place it was just before the 2016 election, and we all know how that turned out.
But doing that won’t be easy–or cheap. Getting out the vote requires purchasing platforms that help connect our volunteers to campaigns, increasing our communication and advertising costs to make sure we are reaching every person who might volunteer to help turnout Democratic voters, and forgoing opportunities to make money for ourselves so that we can spend all our staff time directing resources to the crucial swing states that will decide who wins the White House and the U.S. Senate.
Daily Kos is funded by grassroots donors like you, DICK. If we are going to go bigger and smarter on turning out Democratic voters than we ever have, we need your support to make it happen. That’s why I am asking you to give $5 TODAY, so we can win in 2020.
Amanda McKay, Daily Kos
Thu 24 September 2020 2:20 AM