Talk of a Democratic wave in the fall midterm elections has reached a near-fever pitch.
The latest evidence of the coming tide, at least if you are to believe Republican Governor Scott Walker, was Rebecca Dallet’s election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court on April 3rd. Dallet, who had the support of the Democratic establishment, beat out a judge appointed by Governor Walker. This shrank the court’s conservative majority from 5-2 to 4-3. Walker’s response was to warn of a #bluewave “driven by anger and hatred,” which he implores Republicans to “counter with optimism and organization.”
If Democrats want to prove Scott Walker right and show him exactly what a blue wave looks like, we should take his advice and focus on organizing at scale, especially online, so we can mobilize at scale.
Continue reading “How to Prove Scott Walker Right”
March 24, 2018 was witness to an explosion of youth-led activism across the nation. Hundreds of thousands of protesters took their tweets to the streets to demand gun reform and set their sights on the ballot box. Protests erupted in 390 of 435 congressional districts in the U.S. “We’re going to take this to every election, to every state and every city,” David Hogg said in his speech at the March for Our Lives protest in Washington. “When people try to suppress your vote, and there are people who stand against you because you’re too young, we say, ‘No more!’”
A diverse coalition of young voters across the country are organizing ahead of the midterm elections, dedicated to “vote them out” and bring change up and down the ballot. With midterms just around the corner, progressive groups and campaign strategists need to engage an energized base ‒ and channel their energy to the polls.
Continue reading “Marching to the Ballot Box: Mobilizing the Progressive Base in 2018”
As an industry, electoral politics is unique insofar as campaigns have definitive end dates, with long expanses of time between them. Brilliant teams of technologists and strategists build everything they need to win elections, but once the votes are cast, the campaign shuts down and all that intellectual property dies. Campaigns operate in cycles; elections are won or lost, and staff move on. The wheel is then reinvented by a new batch of brilliant technologists and strategist next time ‘round.
Today’s candidates rely on party organizations like the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to maintain and pass along valuable technological IP. However, as it turns out, institutionalizing digital infrastructure across elections cycles is really hard. Once a campaign has been won, it has achieved its goal. There’s little incentive for the campaign that won yesterday to maintain its systems long enough for tomorrow’s candidates to build upon it.
President Obama’s victories were hailed as models for campaigning in the Digital Age. With that in mind, Democrats have been thought of as the front-runners in building a robust digital ecosystem that could span election cycles. And as Catherine Bracy, who ran Obama’s tech office in San Francisco puts it, integrating technology with the campaign “makes sense when you realize that the structure of our grassroots organization (relatively flat, and decentralized) very closely matches the structure of the Internet itself.” Still, institutionalizing such an ecosystem — much less innovating that ecosystem — has proven to be difficult.
That’s where Higher Ground Labs (HGL) comes in. Founded by a group of tech experts and Obama campaign alums in 2016, HGL is an accelerator working to fund companies that provide technological infrastructure for progressive campaigns up-and-down the ballot. As founder Betsy Hoover explained to Recode, the technology from campaigns “typically dies” after election season is over. Marrying innovative start-ups with campaigns, then, provides a scalable and long-lasting infrastructure that can help bridge the technological gap between election cycles.
The Tuesday Company was honored to be a part of HGL’s first cohort. We are grateful for their support, and it is with that in mind that we are thrilled to welcome HGL’s new generation of teams to the progressive political tech family.
Inspiring volunteers is no easy task. Even the most passionate supporters sometimes balk at calls to action. Though door-knockers are important and phone-bankers are valuable, Democrats will need to engage new elements of their base who aren’t willing or able to get involved in those more traditional ways – or it will all be for naught.
The reality is that in today’s digital world, with today’s digital users, we should be focusing on creating digital volunteers who are ready and willing to fulfill easy and impactful tasks from their smartphones. Continue reading “Digital Volunteers for a Digital Age”
Facebook announced in January that it would prioritize “meaningful social interactions” and trusted friendships on users’ timelines. As the platform shifts its focus from public content to personal content, friend-to-friend sharing will dominate user attention. Tapping into networks of friends on Facebook — and what drives engagement in those networks — is more important than ever for campaigns that want to reach voters’ timelines.
Here’s how campaigns can put the social back in social media and use Team to reach voters through the personal networks of the campaign’s volunteers:
Continue reading “Tuesday Tips: How To Put The “Social” In Social Media”
Social media giants are rushing to overhaul their platforms after facing tough questions from lawmakers, former employees, and investors last fall. As campaigns begin building their digital programs, Facebook has proven to be the best way to engage the maximum number of voters online and push them to the polls: while only 29% of American adults use Twitter every day, 79% use Facebook.
Here’s what campaigns need to know as Facebook rolls out their new policies — and how The Tuesday Company can help campaigns navigate the new digital landscape ahead of the 2018 midterms:
Continue reading “Tuesday Tips: How To Meet The New Facebook in 2018”
Embracing social media platforms’ unique capabilities can help campaigns optimize their voter outreach. Campaigns should build robust profiles and post clear, persuasive content that delivers a candidate’s vision. Be strategic about how and when you post and collect actionable feedback on social engagement: every like and share can inform and enhance future outreach.
Here’s how campaigns embrace social media and reach more voters:
Continue reading “Tuesday Tips: How to Embrace Facebook as a Campaign Platform”