This month’s Swing Blue Alliance All Volunteer Roundup was a feast for anyone hungry for the nitty-gritty of what matters in 2022. Attendees learned where to focus our efforts and what we can do to be most effective. They got a clear vision of opportunities to protect our government.
Key Midterm Races
Guest Speaker Ed Loechler walked attendees through an in-depth analysis of key races in the upcoming midterms. This BU biology prof by profession is an election analyst by avocation. He is driven by one belief: All roads to democracy lead through beating Republicans, the party that stands against gun control, women’s rights, climate change, healthcare, and equal rights.
Loechler has done rigorous research to identify which 2022 races are most important. By important, he means elections in swing states where Dems can and must win to maintain control of the US Congress. He recommends that activists put all their attention on states where Dems have a chance.
According to Loechler’s findings, only seven Senate races are competitive.
- Maggie Hassan* in NH (toss up)
- Catherine Cortez Masto* in NV (toss up)
- Rev. Raphael Warnock* in GA (toss up)
- Mark Kelly* in AZ (toss up)
- Cheri Beasley in NC (leaning Republican)
- John Fetterman in PA (leaning Republican)
- 2022 Wisconsin Dem. Nominee TBD
Loechler used multiple data sources and simulations to determine which House races are worth our attention. In particular, he looked at the effect of gerrymandering, examining what would have happened if the 2020 elections had run with 2022’s new districts.
Here are the key tossup US House races that Dems can win given our support:
- Chris Pappas in NH*
- Matt Cartwright in PA*
- Susan Wild in PA*
- Jared Golden in ME*
- Cindy Axne in IA*
- Angie Craig in MN*
- Sharice Davids in KS*
- Dan Kildee in MI*
- Elaine Luria in VA*
- Elissa Slotkin in MI*
- Jay Chen in CA
- Gary Landsman in OH
- Rudy Salas in CA
- Hillary Scholten in MI
- Emilia Sykes in OH
- Gabe Vasquez in NM
Loechler closed with an introduction to the hazards of polling. For example, telephone canvassing in the 2020 election failed because Trump-leaning Republicans did not participate honestly in the polls.
How Dems Will Win
Here are ways Loechler and the many SBA organizers who spoke recommend you can move the country toward a Democratic Washington in November.
- Donate strategically.
Loechler is cofounder of Force Multiplier. This organization uses his and other research to raise funds for Dems in swing states. These are candidates who are not guaranteed to win but could, given support. Donate here.
- Protect the vote.
Steve Vogel described how SBA recruits poll observers, staff for voter assistance hotlines, and people who can collect info from election officials. Right now we’re asking NH residents to become poll observers (called ballot inspectors in the Granite State) as part of the NH Volunteers T*B*D campaign. If you’re interested in voter protection in Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, fill out this form and we’ll get back to you.
- Canvass for NH candidates.
Paula Joseph reminded participants that Sununu has just passed legislation that makes it even harder to vote in NH. That makes it even more important to knock on doors for Maggie Hassan and Chris Pappas, the NH candidates Loechler mentioned as toss-up races.
- Become a more effective canvasser.
Joseph also gave a pitch for the Canvassing 101 class which gives you opportunities to practice engaging successfully with people who have different views. You’ll find it’s actually possible to make a positive impression “without getting angry.”
- Organize a postcard campaign.
According to Richard Segan, SBA is well into its fourth major mailing and postcard campaign of the year. Currently, organizers have already ordered 50K of the 60K postcards destined for traditional white women, asking them to support open communication in schools about race. Being a postcard organizer is a satisfying way to multiply your results by the number of packets you distribute. Visit the SBA Organizer Action Center or register here to learn more about being a postcard organizer.
- Recruit volunteers.There are hundreds of former activists in swing states who are just waiting for your nudge to re-join Democratic activists. Jack Barry explained that training, real-time support, and eager responses make it fun to make calls with Volunteers T*B*D.