Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Biden/DNC Starts Testing New Organizing Model, Upcoming Events, Prayers for Israel
With Democrats Things Get Better This Thur At 1pm EST
Reporting in on a rainy Saturday here in DC. A few things today:
Jim Jordan Was A Leader of The Effort to Overturn The 2020 Election and End American Democracy - That he has a shot at becoming Speaker is a reminder of how dangerous the Republican Party has become.
DNC Chair Harrison Is Stumping in Virginia: Great to see the national party rallying for the good people of Virginia (here to learn more about the Virginia elections, donate, volunteer);
Israel - Let us hope that the Israeli government does not, through their brutality, burn through the global sympathy and support Israel had earlier this week. That the man who failed to protect the nation and end Israeli democracy remains in charge does not give me comfort. I remain hopeful, deeply supportive of the good people of Israel, but wary.
I found these short remarks from President Zelenskyy at NATO headquarters the the other day helpful:
Thurs, Oct 26th, 7pm EST - Monthly Get Together with Hopium Chronicles Paid Subscribers. More info soon.
Tues, Nov 28th, 7pm ET - Anderson Clayton, the exciting new chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, will be joining us. More info soon.
And if you haven’t watched my talk with Tom Bonier from Wednesday on the strong Dem performance since Dobbs it is worth your time. Lots of data, political insights and Hopium! And do watch this new DNC video too….
Interesting New Initiatives From The Biden Campaign and DNC - Each election cycle we have to reinvent our campaigns as new technologies emerge, and people themselves change they interact with information and the outside world. The Washington Post ran a story this morning which provides a window into some of the innovations team Biden has begun experimenting with. Here’s how the DNC describes new training program around their one of these new innovations, a new app called Reach:
We’re building an organizing program around a simple principle: that our supporters are the best advocates with the closest people in their lives.
Every single member of this team will play a role in ensuring the people closest to us know what's at stake for our families and for our country. That means having conversations directly with our friends, our families, and sharing key campaign messaging and content within our communities online.
This event is a volunteer shift to share content and organize for President Joe Biden and Democrats up and down the ballot using our new tool, Reach. So come ready with your phone and laptop!
Sign up today!
This program is very much in keeping with our info warrior/getting louder concept here at Hopium, and I want to encourage folks here to go try out Reach and share your experiences with others in our community. You can learn more about Reach and sign up for a training here.
Here’s a bit more on what the Biden campaign is rolling out right now:
President Biden’s reelection effort will launch a pilot test of its 2024 organizing strategy in Wisconsin and Arizona next month, hiring about two dozen staffers and opening a Milwaukee office with a new focus on digital and in-person outreach that aims to directly leverage the personal relationships of volunteers.
The moves come as the Democratic National Committee has redirected its organizing efforts to a new smartphone app that encourages supporters to communicate with people in their own friend, family and community circles and then report those contacts back to the party’s voter file.
This “relational organizing” has become a growing part of Democratic campaigns for several cycles, outperforming traditional door-knocking and call sheet lists that volunteers have long used to contact strangers during campaigns. But the scale of what the Biden campaign, in concert with the national party, is planning for next year has not been attempted before.
At the heart of the new effort is a concern among Biden aides that the traditional methods of campaign communication — television ads, direct mail and voter contact from strangers — have lost some effectiveness in recent decades as voters have become more fed up with unsolicited appeals and spend more time consuming information on their phone, often over private text messaging chats or through networks such as TikTok that do not allow political ads. The goal of the program is to arm a nationwide network of Biden volunteers by next year with content they can share in these places, and to empower them to take action in their own social circles to get Biden reelected and improve Democratic targeting data.
At a Wednesday DNC training for using Reach, Democratic volunteers who gathered over Zoom were encouraged to make lists of people they know personally who are “forever Democrats” and then to contact them directly as they normally would — through text message, for example, or Instagram direct message — asking if they would be interested in doing more to help Biden in 2024. Using the Reach app, they were then told to look up the same people in the voter file and record the outreach and any response, including their support for Biden.In recent weeks, the party has encouraged those same supporters to switch to another app, called Reach, where they can find similar content to share while also uploading information to the party’s voter file about the interests and concerns of their own networks.
Democrats hope to use similar techniques in the battleground states with different populations of voters, including disengaged voters who may not vote next year. The goal is to have the campaign’s messages — about Biden accomplishments, his Republican opponent or voting logistics — be delivered directly from someone they know, who can then report back the reaction to the party number crunchers, who can use the data to improve their own targeting efforts.
Such techniques have been used in recent elections with increasing frequency, and can be applied to in-person field work as well. Ben Wikler, the chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, said the major strategic change is that organizers no longer have to work off lists of strangers provided by the campaign. Instead, they create their own lists, based on their personal social networks or location.
He said organizers can now just walk into a bar — Wisconsin ranks among the highest in bars per capita — talk to seven random people in a college community and then report back the results of those interactions. The pilot starting next month will double the number of staff working on outreach to young and Black voters in the state.
“They also allow you to sit on your couch and check in with all the people you didn’t see at church that weekend,” Wikler said. “Connecting with someone they have a relationship with is the most effective way to reach them.”
The program in the seven major battleground states — which are expected to eventually include North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada, in addition to Arizona and Wisconsin — is expected to be built out by next spring, reaching its full strength in the final months of the campaign. By then, the Biden team is planning to launch a more traditional door-knocking effort as well.
But the early efforts to recruit digital volunteers, both nationally and in the early swing states, could form a basis of that program.
Interesting stuff from team Biden. I will work to get someone from the DNC to come talk to our community in the coming weeks about these early, promising initiatives.
Keep working hard all - Simon