How To Choose Which Races to Focus On in 2020

Are you feeling torn about how best to spend your time volunteering to get the wins we need this fall?

I get it. You want to win the White House. And you also know we need to flip the Senate. And of course, you want to stop gerrymandering so we need to flip some state legislature seats. Plus, you may want to help some of your local candidates win their races. It can be a lot to juggle.

And when there are so many important decisions needing to be made, it’s easy to fall into indecision. But we can’t afford to have anyone sitting out this election cycle. So today, I’m excited to bring to your attention a way you can be both efficient and effective.

Introducing: DemCast’s Focus 14 project!

My good friends at DemCast have chosen 14 key swing states that have huge implications both at the top of the ballot (think Electoral College, governors, senators) and down ballot (state legislatures, district attorneys, sheriffs, etc.) They are recruiting volunteers to adopt one of these 14 states so they can plug them into specific activities to help that state win crucial races.

I spoke with Nick Knudsen, the Executive Director of DemCast and a friend of mine, about this effort. I asked him how they made their selections:

“Our team picked these 14 states precisely because they have both highly impactful down ballot and top of ballot races. Some volunteers get excited by working on the ‘big’ races, while others are more energized by local seats. What often gets ignored is the interplay between both types of races. In the end, if they are successful in getting a voter to fill out their ballot, we know that voter will vote for all of the races, not just the one they are most excited about.”

Nick told me that they had over 1,000 volunteers sign up in the first week, and that pace has since accelerated as people share the link with their friends and networks. His team has also recruited some big names to adopt a state:

What Nick and his team like about having volunteers adopt one state is that there are always issues that resonate regionally. As volunteers build familiarity with those state-specific issues, they’ll be far more effective when writing postcards, or texting/phone banking with voters. And of course, there’s the added benefit of having a community of fellow DemCast volunteers working with you on your chosen state.

Once you volunteer, DemCast will connect you to the following tools:

  • state specific content to share on social media
  • team Zoom calls
  • training on effective digital strategy
  • contact with candidates and grassroots leaders
  • notifications of events you can participate in

So, I encourage you to check out their Focus 14 project and consider adopting a state which you can do HERE.

If you had to guess which state I’ve adopted, which one do you think it is? Regular readers of Political Charge have likely noticed I’m very keen to help one state in particular “go blue” this year…


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2 replies

  1. My guess is Michigan…!?

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