Welcome to the Tuesday Company blog: 21st Century Field Organizing!
Maybe this world is new to you; maybe you manage a small campaign and are looking for an edge; maybe you ran a successful digital organizing campaign at a local level and are trying to figure out how to scale your work to a statewide election. (If so – congrats on the promotion!)
No matter where you are in this process, the Tuesday Company can help you improve your digital campaign infrastructure, so we can all help get the right people elected.
We often use euphemisms to describe voting–both the act itself and the work that goes into getting others to vote. We call it exercising our civic duty; we call it participating in democracy; we call it GOTV operations. Occasionally, we slip and call it field work, a more accurate etymological reference to the hard labor of tending to the delicate chore of growing something meaningful.
In 2013, the University of Alabama’s top-ranked college football team lost to their intra-state rival, Auburn University, on what is widely considered one of the most improbable single plays in college football history. With the game tied nearing the end of regulation, Alabama lined up to kick a field goal. The long field goal attempt had little chance of success but was a risk worth taking because of the incredible unlikelihood that the play could lead to an Auburn score. That, however, is exactly what happened. The kick was short, and an Auburn player took the ball from the back of his own endzone 109-yards for a touchdown. The game was over. Auburn won.
According to an October 12th poll, Democrat Doug Jones would need exactly this sort of Auburn miracle to beat Republican Roy Moore in the December 12th special election for Jeff Sessions’ vacated Senate seat.
Well, it seems like Jones has the ball and is running towards Moore’s endzone.
As it turns out, the best way to win an election is to get as many votes as possible. Amazingly, the American punditry and vast swaths of the American political class seem to forget this lesson in between elections.
In slightly more sophisticated terms, the lesson should be how important it is to capitalize on fundamental advantages in the electorate.
President Trump’s dismal approval numbers should have been (and were) a good indicator of Democratic success on November 7. Had the right voters not shown up, however, Tuesday night would have been very different.