Hello Democrats! As election week continues, I’ve been very encouraged by the ballot counts in later days where we’ve seen many progressive candidates gain ground. Hugo Garcia in Burien was losing on election night and he’s ahead now. Kim Harless in Vancouver is now just 41 votes behind her conservative opponent after having been outspent 10-1 by a huge special interest PAC expenditure. Hugo and Kim are both Rooted to Win candidates from our inaugural cohort. I’m really looking forward to seeing tonight’s drop of Clark County results for Kim’s race, and races all over our state!
While the Virginia governor’s race was a disappointment nationally, I think we saw some very good omens here in Washington state, like flipping the Sequim and SeaTac City Councils. Washington State Democrats had some big wins - more than two-thirds of our Rooted To Win candidates have won their elections, including some very tough and competitive races where we were up against major, conservative special interests! We know that next year’s midterm is going to be a tough political environment, but I think these local election results across Washington show that we still have a lot to be optimistic about. We can win, but it’s going to take a lot of work.
That’s why I want to talk to you about our plans for the 2022 Coordinated Campaign!
Our Coordinated Campaign is the GOTV organizing and field program we run to turn out voters for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot, all across the state. As I know you all know, last year we had to totally change our campaign strategy due to the COVID pandemic. We completely overhauled the program we had been planning and building for two years and quickly pivoted to a fully virtual program. We paved the way nationwide on a new type of campaigning -- one that prioritized the safety and health of Washingtonians here at home.
Despite the massive shake-up early in the year, our team was able to successfully execute on a new, fully digital plan and the 2020 Coordinated was a success. Overall, Democratic share of the vote in 2020 increased by nearly 4 points compared to 2016. Democratic share increased in every county in the state, ranging from 4 to 14 points gained.
We know that our voter contact efforts work. In 2020, of the voters we were able to contact in our GOTV universe, 80.97% turned out to vote. Of the voters in our universe that we attempted to contact but weren’t able to, 65.91% turned out to vote. That’s an increase among the people we contacted of over 15 points. Our ability to reach people makes a real difference in the likelihood to vote among Democratic base voters.
This year, we’re excited to plan a more “normal” Coordinated Campaign. We’re going to take the good lessons we learned in 2020 about digital organizing and constituency outreach, and join that with the proven Coordinated Campaign model of direct and in-person voter contact. A Coordinated Campaign will typically knock on 1.5 million doors over the course of the summer and fall, and we want to be able to do that -- and more -- in 2022! We’ve seen candidates and campaigns be able to door knock this year with the appropriate precautions and we expect to be able to safely campaign next year.
We plan to hire at least 25 field organizers and 25 deputy field organizers so that we’re able to campaign all across the state. I say it all the time: every race and every place! And we’re also going to continue our award-winning and nationally-recognized voter protection program.
We’re going to need a lot of help from you all to make this happen. It takes thousands of volunteers to help us get the door knocks and voter contact that we need to get out the vote. We are going to be counting on you to help be a part of that.
This also costs a lot of money. We don’t get the national funding from the DNC that Wisconsin or Florida do; we have to run a lean and mean program and we can’t afford to waste resources. Nearly all of our Coordinated Campaign budget goes into staff (unionized!) salaries and benefits: the people on the ground doing the work to recruit and train volunteers and organize communities.
We’re thankful for every donation that people like you make to support that work, but the most important ones are our recurring supporters in the Blue Washington program. The continued support that we can count on from our recurring donors means that we can reliably budget future expenditures with the confidence that your contributions will be there for us. Just as we need to make payroll for our organizing team every month, we need your support every month. You can sign up to be a recurring donor for us here.
Upcoming Communications Training - I’ve emailed you before about communications training webinars done by our friends at Connections Lab, who also did the messaging training at our Rural Summit this summer and at our last state committee meeting. They’ve got an upcoming series of trainings about some of the science behind how our brains process information and how to use that information to more effectively persuade and message when we’re making our political arguments. The cost is “pay what you can” and I encourage interested folks to check them out and learn!
Science Trek: The Liberal and Conservative Zoos
Monday, November 8 at 5:00 PM
We talk about Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, progressives and centrist Democrats -- but the reality goes much deeper. We'll explore the taxonomy of both liberals and conservatives and see how identifying people correctly changes how we target our messaging. This webinar is FREE with an optional Pay What You Will to support the work of Connections Lab. Register for Science Trek: The Liberal and Conservative Zoos
Science Trek: Propaganda - A Look at its Purpose and Effectiveness
Monday, November 22 at 5:00 PM
Propaganda is everywhere and it's a surprisingly effective tool. Yet if we are to message with honesty and integrity, it is a tool we should not use. We'll explore what we are up against, how to expose it and what our alternatives are. This webinar is FREE with an optional Pay What You Will to support the work of Connections Lab. Register for Science Trek: Propaganda
Science Trek: The Art and Science of Persuasion
Monday, December 13 at 5:00 PM
Brain science shows that human minds are easily fooled and that erroneous ideas and beliefs, once learned, are hard to shake. How do we get around that? We'll look at some of the unlearning we must do and we'll explore persuasion methods including some from sales (!) that will help you persuade with honesty and integrity. This webinar is FREE with an optional Pay What You Will to support the work of Connections Lab. Register for Science Trek: The Art and Science of Persuasion
October Jobs Report - Thanks to the leadership of President Joe Biden and Senator Patty Murray and their work to pass the American Rescue Plan earlier this year, America continues to add jobs at a record pace – 620,000 a month, on average, and over 5.6 million total since President Biden took office. Because of the success of that bill, our economy has the resilience we need to weather the challenges posed by this virus, more Americans are going back to work, and more Americans feel safe going back to work.
This week’s jobs report showed that America added 531,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% -- the lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic.
Before the Rescue Plan passed, the Congressional Budget Office projected we wouldn’t reach 4.6% unemployment until the fourth quarter of 2023. Today’s report shows that the economy reached that rate two full years earlier than projected, thanks to the Rescue Plan – a bill that not a single Republican supported – and the President’s vaccination strategy.
Unemployment has decreased this year more than any other year in US history. That’s huge news, and we have our Democratic leaders to thank.
We’ve made tremendous progress in the last nine months, and our leaders have an opportunity to build on that in the coming days by passing President Biden’s economic agenda. The Build Back Better and infrastructure bills would do even more to create jobs and get America out of the pandemic. I’m excited to see action on this legislation soon!
Thank you as always for reading!