Our midterm victories didn’t happen alone. More than 50,000 Daily Kos members made it possible
For two years, the media pundits proclaimed that it was inevitable: Republicans would win the 2022 midterms in a “red wave” that would render Democrats and Joe Biden irrelevant. Never mind that MAGA Republicans had attacked our government on Jan. 6. Never mind that a Trump-appointed Supreme Court had overturned 50 years of precedent to overturn a fundamental right. And never mind that the disgraced ex-president refused to walk away with a cabal of extremist candidates who were a clear and present danger to democracy.
Our community at Daily Kos—which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year—understood that the stakes were too high. We had to work hard to get out every Democratic-leaning voter this election, because our democracy depended on it. And we did.
More than 50,000 Daily Kos members volunteered to help get out the Democratic vote for the November midterms. And when Georgia’s Senate race went to a Dec. 6 runoff, more than 7,000 of you helped us deliver that crucial 51st vote.
Daily Kos does not run our own get-out-the-vote operation, but as the largest gathering place for progressives online, we have proven to be one of the best places for campaigns to recruit volunteers. If you build it, we will come and provide you with a grassroots army to deliver.
We started with postcards and letter-writing. By far, the easiest ask is to have volunteers write hand-written letters to Democratic-leaning voters in battleground states—gently explaining the value of voting and why it matters. This activity was perfectly suited for our online community, as you can order postcards (or print letters) and then write at home on your own schedule.
Postcards to Swing States began an effort in the spring to write seven million postcards to seven states (which had a key Senate race), and we quickly helped them sell out. After the Dobbs decision, they expanded to stopping Republicans from taking over the House—and Daily Kos volunteers wrote 588,000 postcards to key U.S. House districts. Blue Wave Postcards also reached out to us, and we helped them send postcards to Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. They quickly sold out each time, and we even convinced them to double their total number of postcards printed.
And, of course, Vote Forward—which we have partnered with since 2018—continued to be our most popular get-out-the-vote activity at Daily Kos. More than 13,000 of our members wrote 675,000 handwritten letters for the November midterms, and about 6,000 wrote 215,000 letters in the Georgia runoff. Vote Forward was so popular during the Georgia runoff that the program kept running out of letters. In the end, Vote Forward sent 5.6 million letters: with more than one million sent to Georgia alone for the December runoff—or almost half the number of votes Raphael Warnock received.
We knew we couldn’t just ask people to vote if the polling places were not adequately staffed. That’s why Daily Kos teamed up again with Power the Polls, who identified which local jurisdiction had a shortage of poll workers. More than 16,000 Daily Kos volunteers answered the call, and spent Election Day making it easier for folks to exercise their rights. And with Protect the Vote, we recruited roughly another 2,500 volunteers for Election Protection work.
But one thing campaigns continuously told us was important was phone bankers, text bankers and canvassers. It’s a harder ask for volunteers—but only by calling, texting, or knocking on doors can you reach voters and identify them as supporters so you can make sure they vote. Thanks to most campaigns putting these opportunities on Mobilize.us, it was very easy for us to directly connect volunteers to thousands of campaign opportunities across the country.
During the November midterms, we recruited about 8,000 Daily Kos volunteers to send text messages, roughly 2,000 people did phone banking and about 1,000 signed up to canvass. Most campaigns offered remote phone banking with auto-dialers, which made it very efficient and ensured that volunteers could spend time at home making calls and reaching voters.
As the Dobbs decision and the Kansas abortion vote in August made clear, young voters were going to make or break the midterm elections for Democrats. We needed to inspire youth turnout in targeted races, but thankfully we had willing partners with NextGen America.
In early September, NextGen contacted us about recruiting more volunteers for National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 20. They told us that in past election cycles, the volunteers who Daily Kos recruited at this stage of the campaign became some of their most dedicated volunteers and stuck around through the rest of the GOTV season. So we made it a priority.
We kept pursuing other get-out-the-vote opportunities, and we ran a central Daily Kos GOTV Page to direct people to as many different activities as possible. TogetherWeElect offered volunteers individual coaching sessions on what GOTV activity best served their needs. And we recruited about 850 volunteers with Rideshare2Vote to drive voters in swing states to the polls, ensuring that no one could not vote due to lack of transportation.
And on Nov. 9—the day after the election, as mail-in votes were still being counted in Nevada—we recruited over 1,000 volunteers to join the Democratic Party’s phone bank to help voters “cure” their rejected mail-in ballots and ensure that their votes were counted.
In the end, we left no stone unturned because too much was at stake. We would not accept the “inevitable rule” that the president’s party loses seats in the midterm elections, and we defied the pundit predictions. The work we did this election cycle will be replicated in 2024, as we face another presidential election and a difficult U.S. Senate map.
We defeated MAGA Republicans this election, but the threat to democracy is there every day. And we must elect more and better Democrats to deliver key victories to our communities on health care, the environment, education, and more.
Please help us to keep fighting!
Read more about the campaigns we endorsed that we helped elect!
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