9 Weekends Left Until Midterms: Challenge for the Week

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I can’t watch the Democrats fall just short of winning on November 6. Can you?

There are only 9 weekends left between today and Election Day. We need all hands on deck, helping candidates, raising awareness, registering voters, and having conversations with fellow voters.

Last week’s challenge was to narrow your focus so you can do the best job possible for your chosen few candidates.

The challenge this week: Get to know your candidates really well so you can be an awesome advocate for them.

Whether in person or on social media, it isn’t enough to say “flip it blue!” or “vote for Democrats!” You need to be able to help your candidate by having compelling reasons why voters in that community/district/state should vote for them.

Beyond the national reasons for voting for Democrats–being a check on Trump and his administration, stopping the slide to autocracy, halting the rush to confirm conservative federal judges, etc.–you need to be armed with the local reasons why your candidate is the best choice. The proof is in the pudding: Several Democrats have won their special elections this year in very red districts by appealing directly to the concerns of voters in that district.

So, how can you get really knowledgeable about your candidate? Here are 7 ways to get you started:

✦ Start with their campaign website. Campaign websites are full of information about their policy positions and the issues they are prioritizing. (While you’re perusing the website, be sure to sign up to get email updates!)

✦ Check out their social media feeds. Twitter and Facebook are important places to be seen by voters. Not only will they likely use those platforms to talk about their signature issues but they are better places than the campaign website to speak out about breaking news or respond to other timely issues.

✦ Go to the online version of the local newspapers and TV stations in that area and do a search for your candidate’s name. You’ll get good information about how they’re being covered (or if they are at all).

✦ Find out where they’ll be speaking and attend the event. Candidates are campaigning hard right now which means they should be out and about in their communities. Watching your candidate in person can give you a lot of information that you otherwise can’t glean from just online sources.

✦ Go spend some time at the local campaign office. While you’re volunteering, talk to the candidate’s campaign staff who are also there. You can learn a lot just being in the same space as everyone, and of course the campaign staff and longtime volunteers can answer any questions you might have about the candidate.

✦ If they are already in office (and you’re helping them hold their seat), you can look up what their voting record is. A good resource to do that is at Headcount. For state-level politicians, typing in your candidate’s name into Open States is another way to get crucial information.

✦ It’s also important to know what their challenger is saying about them, too, so you can respond effectively when you hear those same issues being raised by voters.

Again, with only 9 weekends to go, each of us need to be the most knowledgable advocates for our candidates and make sure that crucial information is getting out to the voters. Next week, we’ll dive in deeper.

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Categories: Explainers

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