It’s hard for a guy like me to say this, but…small donor fundraising for Democrats was a smashing success in this year’s elections, and the way we (and others) spent their money was pretty damned smart overall. We gave lots to Conor Lamb and even more to Doug Jones, and raised money for nearly every Democratic candidate who flipped a seat.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to keep this going. I think I finally have a plan. First off, early fundraising is important because it signals to good candidates that they can get in and count on having enough money to run a serious race. That’s why I think nominee funds are so great. I’d like to nominee funds for the, say, 20 Republican districts that are the best Cook PVIs for Democrats. Those are targets for 2020 and by raising money for nominee funds, we can help encourage good candidates to get in. A Republican-held district right near me, NY-24, has a Cook PVI of +3 D but no marquee candidate emerged on the Democratic side. In particular, former Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner elected not to run. What I heard was that she didn’t want to spend hours a day fundraising. What if she or other similar candidates knew they could count on a couple million from ActBlue? It might change things a lot.
I’d also like to raise money for the 30 or so new Democratic members of Congress who are in the districts with the worst Cook PVIs for Democrats. Members of Congress are most vulnerable, they say, they first time they come up for re-election.
So what do people think of doing something like 40-50 House races in 2019 (meaning we raise the money in 2019)? We can also do nominee funds for the Senate races in Maine and Colorado.
I don’t know how possible it is to do anything local on ActBlue. But do remember: local elections are super-important and have very low turn-out. I may try to work with Maze Dancer on some postcards for local elections.