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Adopt this rallying cry at every opportunity:

"We can’t just win in 2024, we need to win big, and make this election a clear repudiation of this malevolent, illiberal politics that poses such a threat to freedom and democracy here in America and all around the world."

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Reid, I agree and simply would add that several cycles of crushing losses are our sole means of rendering MAGA increasingly irrelevant. Admittedly, of all the Substacks to which I subscribe (and there are several), none presents a plan nearly as comprehensive, as thoughtful, and as methodical as the Hopium Chronicles. Consequently, I, and I imagine others, are better positioned to have an impact more meaningful than in any previous election cycle.

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Voters for tommorow is an amazing organization to support for the youth vote,mi would push that as a great way to get involved and for donations

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Thank you for reinforcing that the seemingly small contributions we make can add up to big changes. Some days I feel like I’m standing at the base of the mountain looking up. I come here every day to hear you say “Next step. Let’s go!” Your confidence and guidance mean a lot to us.

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When is Biden going on the offensive. He has done a great job but nobody seems to understand it.

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Unfortunately a Democrat can get at most 56% approval for anything important because of the right wing echo chamber. So 56% approval is what Obama’s “spiked” to after we killed Bin Laden…while Bush hit over 80% for failing to prevent 9/11. That’s just the reality with the existence of an extremely irresponsible right wing media that was even willing to oppose life saving vaccines during a global pandemic.

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Thanks as always, Simon, for your optimistic message. I believe we absolutely will take back the House in 24 in a big way. I am worried about the Senate, however. Is maintaining at least 50-50 a possibility? Do we have any realistic pick up opportunities? I'd appreciate your thoughts.

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It’s gonna be a take no prisoners knife fight in a phone booth, but we absolutely have a chance....we have two of the best incumbents in D.C. in Tester & Brown who are very shrewd political operatives in their respective states and they will be incredibly well funded and will run very effective “rights & freedom” campaigns centered around abortion and the theocratic extremism of the Rs..... it won’t be easy, but I sure as hell won’t bet against either one of them....and if we drive the overall popular vote up enough nationwide it will put Texas & Florida both in play where we look to have excellent candidates to run against two of the worst and most unpopular incumbents in the country, Rick Scott & Ted Cruz.....let’s keep the faith and do the work....this is absolutely possible!

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And the least popular R incumbent is Josh Hawley in Missouri with consistently lower approval ratings than Cruz or Scott. Dems have an excellent candidate in Marine Vet Lucas Kunce who now has no serious opposition in the Dem primary www.lucaskunce.com

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Simon, this is excellent! I'm so glad to see you focusing the energy of this Hopium community on critical opportunities that we can win.

Here's one anecdote to help your readers think about what's possible in North Carolina. Others can share their stories about successes and opportunities elsewhere.

I volunteer with All In for NC. This year we supported Drew Kromer's Mecklenburg County Democratic Party by making 10,000+ phone calls. We turned out volunteers who helped canvass and GOTV in Huntersville NC, as a test case of the new MeckDems strategy. They flipped a Republican mayor and 6-seat town council to 100% Dem. (Many firsts here for Dems, women of color, and more). In the process they raised turnout from 17% to 27%. That is +10% turnout. (!!)

Now apply that +10% turnout to Mecklenburg County as a whole, which has 320,000+ registered Dems. 30K+ additional Dem votes should give NC a Democratic Governor, Lt Gov, Atty General, etc in 2024. Add in some more Dem votes from Mecklenburg's unaffiliated voters (295K) and we are close to swinging NC for Biden/Harris.

Yes, we need to find 10,000 volunteers and another $1M in funding. But that's doable. Winning is doable. And we are working on it now.

I'll guess that in all your target areas there are people working now to achieve your goals. This is what makes this moment so exciting. We are strong, focused, and already working on it.

Thanks for your enthusiasm. It really helps.

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Thanks for this Awesome post! Great stuff

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No Cal Cunninghams or John Edwards!! Keep repeating that and NC will turn blue.

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Simon, we would love to talk to you about the possibility of working together on some open and challenger House races. We'd love to share our thoughts and see if we can do something in partnership. Dale from Force Multiplier

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Go Force Multiplyer!

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On the topic of youth engagement...

I am a donor and volunteer for The Civic Center (www.thecivicscenter.org) which has the stated goal of registering every HS student before they graduate. Their main program is to provide the resources for the students to organize Voter Registration drives at their schools in the fall and the spring. But they also have piloted postcard campaigns with volunteer writers to get students to register and then in a follow-up postcard camaign get those students to encourage their friends to register.

Recently, I got an email about a new test program focused on the parents of students in AZ who will be turning 18 before the election in Nov 2024. It is a combination information and persusion campaign to get the parents to encourage their kids (and their kids' friends) to pre-register early in the year since AZ permits this. It is in the form of a form letter to which you print and then hand write the provided supplemental message and also handwrite the envelopes. Very much in the "Vote Forward" mode. Timing is to mail out the letters in January. You can request 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, or 200 names and addresses using the request form found here:

https://secure.everyaction.com/0Nmz2nDau0mOH-LmNMufEw2

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Hi Cheryl. I am also working with the Civics Center. See my comment about their work toward the NY-03 special election

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Yeah Cheryl! I love The Civics Center organization. I also signed up and am sending out 50 letters to parents of Arizona teens.

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Woo Hoo!!

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The “information persuasion” approach sounds interesting. In MI Gov Whitmer signed two pro-voting bills into law: 1)allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote and 2)automatically register eligible individuals to vote when they are released from incarceration. In NC Drew Komer pointed out that success includes getting those registered voters to actually vote. Food for thought/discussion/action?

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AZ is trying to get an abortion amendment on the ballot for 2024. If this happens, there should be plenty of incentive for young people to vote, IMO.

https://apnews.com/article/abortion-arizona-ballot-voters-2024-a7ea711840cbe2103a9c75c4c4dd4ef3

The Civics Center is trying to push voter registration/pre-registration early - long before the election and perhaps even before the registrant turns 18. (Many poeple are unaware that young people can pre-register in many states including AZ; that is where the eductional component of the message come in).

I think of this as "early" registration - analogous to early voting where you have banked the vote and reduced the size of the population requiring further outreach. If you have already registered your HS population, then there is one obstacles in getting them to vote. Plus, the Civic Center makes use of the virtuous cycle - getting someone to first register to vote, then encourage them to get their friends to register too.

A handy list of whether or not your state permits pre-registration and under which circumstances can be found here: https://www.thecivicscenter.org/resources

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Oops, should have said ... one less obstacle in getting them to vote.

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I will be in Chandler from early Jan thru mid-April and would love to help w the signature gathering. I don't see a sign-up on the PPhAZ page. Can you provide a link for me, Cheryl? Thanks very much!! Onward and upward ...

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I'm not in AZ. But I do get emails from Arizonalist.org since I donated to them. They are involved and here is what I found on their website:

https://www.arizonalist.org/get-involved/aaa/

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Love ALL of this - and encouraged to see you highlight Florida and Texas as potential expansion states! Ted Cruz and Rick Scott are both deeply unpopular incumbents, and I hope their Democratic challengers will bind them to the equally detested current Supreme Court that killed Roe.

Re North Carolina - Want to highlight an online event happening tonight: Winning North Carolina Starts With Mecklenburg County, with Guests including Senator Raphael Warnock and Rep. Jeff Jackson. Here's the link to register: https://www.mobilize.us/swingbluealliance/event/589406/ And here's the link to donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ainc_for_ncdems?refcode=MFD

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Josh Hawley is less popular than Cruz or Scott.

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Would LOVE to see Hawley tossed out in disgrace, too!

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I'm already signed up and looking fiorward to it. Jeff is my current Congressman and I will get involved some way in his campaign for AG since they gerrymandered his (our) disstrict for 2024.

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As for growth opportunities, I would be interested in learning about Colin Allred's Senate campaign. I have heard him mention in interviews that he was trying to focus on registering Hispanic voters in Texas as central to his efforts. If would be interested in learning more about those efforts and how is best to help. Unfortunately the only info I regularly get about his campaign is text 3 times a day asking for money.

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Ditto.... want to help here if it’s viable. I’ll cut him some slack for the aggressive fundraising efforts....Texas will require an obscene war chest to be competitive...there’s like 4 or 5 major media markets and coordinating a GOTV across that massive amount of land will be hella complicated and expensive

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Yeah, I am not mad about the constant fundraising hits most just go to spam. My complaint is that I am an automatic re-occurring donor, have offered to volunteer and they only communication I get is the clearly automated asks for cash.

I just cannot believe that more campaigns do not use those emails as an opportunity to share goals, and communicate with their grassroots network and share supporter stories. If I was any of them I would frame basically every fundraising email around they want to do and how the donors can see it. Like we are trying to fund a poll, or we want to use money to fund a voter registration drive at x highschool. Those goals could even be fake and they would be more believeable/resonate than we are just $754 dollars short of our midday, midmonth goal.

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"Yeah, I am not mad about the constant fundraising hits most just go to spam. My complaint is that I am an automatic re-occurring donor, have offered to volunteer and they only communication I get is the clearly automated asks for cash."

I have that same beef with many of the candidates to whom I donate including the Biden/Harris campaign. I know that there are ways to design more sophisticated messaging plans that distinguish between monthly donors and an unproven potential donor from a purchased email list. I thnk the issue is that email is "cheap" to send so they don't want to waste resources on refining their approach.

But that ignores the fact that those emails become less effective over time - people either unsubscribe or simple don't bother to open the email in the first place knowing to is just more begging for contributions..

I'm represented in Congress by Jeff Jackson (NC-14) and he has been sending out informative emails since he got elected about how the state legislature was/is re-gerrymandering the maps, the dysfunction of the GOP in Congress, and how much manouvering is involved in getting a bill passed, etc. Interesting stuff that makes me want to open his emails! But he is definitely the exception!

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Former digital fundraising person here (for a large NGO but we hired and worked with tons of political people) - contact the campaign you are worried about directly and tell them! The world of email fundraising is in turmoil right now because it is increasingly hard to get email delivered and seen (because of Google rules and decreasing lack of attention - think about how less attention you pay to an email you have not asked for). So, many campaigns - because they are temporary orgs - just go for brute force and burn out lists to hit fundraising goals (by just hammering their lists). This strategy is geared towards the less engaged. Ideally, campaigns would multiple segments that they target differently but they tend to be understaffed (or staffed by consultants) and focused on total raised no matter the consequences. But, IMHAO opinion, as this substack illustrates, this leaves a lot of better $ on the table (as well as volunteer muscle) and good campaigns will figure this out but we will need to push them to do so. Try to speak to the field and fundraising folks at the campaign. Tell them they are screwing up. Don’t email - call or write (emails are ignored by the campaigns just like they are in your in box). We also need to push to make our campaigns better.

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I appreciate your feed back. I have absolutely mentioned it person to staff but clearly I was only talking to the person one up on the totem pole.

Part of the problem is that campaigns in themselves are super opaque. For instance I live in a toss up district. I knocked 400 doors for my congresswoman last time she ran, heck I even have spoken to her on a few occasions. But there is not a number to call. And we only do events in campaign season. I either show up at an event and sound like a crazy person talking about her emails and blow my 30 second meet and greet, or I talk to the local organizer at best 5 months before the campaign when this kind of strategy is already too late.

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Dec 5, 2023·edited Dec 5, 2023

I just received outreach from Beto's Powered by People - they are doing a community call tonight at 7 ET to share plans for 2024. Sign up here: https://act.betoorourke.com/signup/volunteer-kickoff-webinar/?fbclid=IwAR1DJ5iJrAXbcffzz49tTjxR6oJNWP3ibOTPSQWGGeJDV35ugVVaCr0fybI

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founding

Shouldn't we think about some kind of expansion and growth opportunity in Ohio before FL, and for sure before TX? We have allies and assets in Ohio, like David Pepper on organizing, Senator Brown for election focus, and continued push back on the GOP state legislative push back on abortion, to make further gains and consolidate and reinforce the infrastructure we helped to create this year. I also think the data suggests Ohio is more purple than either TX or Fl in terms of the medium term opportunities for expansion and growth.

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There is a push to get an independent redistricting commission on the ballot next year in Ohio. I think that is the best shot that for growth. The state Republican's this week are trying to rollback the weed initiative. I think that one might hurt them more with what I call culturally Republican men (20-40 year old men who generally see themselves as apolitical but vote R because everyone the know does) than the Abortion rollbacks which will fire up Dems on its own.

My one neighbor said he would vote Dem for the first time if they roll back the weed initiative. Biden needs to declassify marjauana to make inroads with that group.

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I have been wondering about Ohio as a “dark horse” opportunity all year for all the reasons you listed....don’t know if I want to do it “instead” of Texas, but I would sure love to see it done “in addition” to Texas.....would love to hear Simon’s thoughts on this as well 👍🇺🇸

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author

Open to this but Brown is not expansion, and we lost OH in 2020 more than we did either FL or TX. But something to consider, and yes let's keep batting stuff around. Love all the engagement here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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founding

One thing our little grassroots group is doing is starting now to address postcards to Dems and lean-Dems in our county. We'll write in the message later, but starting now means we can do a lot more postcards than if we wait. We've also written thank-you postcards to candidate who ran, even if they didn't win. We're searching for a candidate to run against our very MAGA Congressman.

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This is great, Simon! Thanks for showing up for NC. For FL, I'd encourage folks to join postcardstovoters.org

We are writing to FL Dems with to re-enroll them in Vote By Mail, which increases turnout dramatically.

Here is what PTV says about that:

If you've written postcards to Florida Democrats encouraging them to enroll in Vote By Mail, you are already familiar with the proven case for VBM as a way to bank votes. Feel free to skip ahead if that's your experience with our sincere gratitude for writing with us on our third statewide VBM enrollment push in the Sunshine State.

If you're new or you'd like a bit of a refresher, thank you for approaching this at-home activism opportunity with an open mind and willingness to be part of what will take longer than a year to accomplish our mission: to re-enroll 2 million Florida Democrats in VBM who were, because of a law passed in 2022 by the FL GOP legislature and signed by Republican Gov. DeSantis, purged from the Vote By Mail rolls at the top of 2023.

Vote By Mail enrollment in Florida used to be permanent when Democrats held power there. Republicans changed that to make new enrollments expire after four years. They grandfathered everyone who'd been enrolled in VBM up to that point. Which, at the time, was majority Republican voters. How convenient, right?

When it became clear how large a role voting by mail was for Democratic turnout, the FL GOP cut that expiration from four to two years. Now, they've forced everyone off the VBM rolls and are making the voters discover for themselves that they need to re-enroll. They didn't budget for any voter mailings to make it easy for them to learn about the re-enrollment requirement. Imagine how many voters who'd been part of that grandfathered group who may not even learn about Spring and Summer municipal elections until they see the results on the news.

Postcards to Voters volunteers have partnered with the Florida Democratic Party twice before and coordinated with them and key County Democratic Executive Committees to organize statewide VBM enrollment. In both of those exhaustive efforts, we targeted Democrats who were already registered to vote but had not enrolled in VBM. Now with everyone reset, we have a different strategic approach.

We will first write to the 2.1 million Democratic voters who had actually cast ballots by mail letting them know that they must now RE-enroll. They're still able to make a phone call to their county Supervisor of Elections (SOE) without needing to go to a web site, fill out and mail a request form, or go in person. Just one phone call to make the request, verify their voter registration, and they'll be set for two years.

We're aiming to write to all 67 counties so that we can flip Florida back to the blue column and secure those electoral votes. We have enough time to meet this ambitious goal. We've done it before. It aligns with our mission to strengthen the habit of voting among Democrats so that more Democratic candidates win up and down the ballot across the country.

And at least for this first pass statewide, every single voter we write will have already enjoyed the convenience and ease of voting securely by mail. Unlike most other postcarding campaigns we've run, this time you can be assured that the highest percentage of postcard recipients will follow through on your friendly reminder. With postage costing what it does these days, the prospect of having the highest call to action yield for your time and donated postage with turnout benefits that will be realized for every type of election for up to two years is pretty amazing.

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Now that the 2023 election is in the rearview mirror, I have returned to writing PTV postcards for FL VBM - along with voter registration postcards for Women in NC-01 with Field Team 6 (fieldteam6.org).

If you need a little further incentive. beyond what sandycreek provided to write some postcards, PTV is currently working on Escambia County which falls in Matt Gaetz's congressional district.

PSA for GOTV postcard and letter writers: USPS is raising the stamp prices again in mid January - postcards and first class stamps are each going up $0.02 - to $0.53 and $0.68, respectively.

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How robust is the Democratic Party's localization and media accessibility resources? Is there any dedicated staff (either internal or contracted) to subtitle, caption, describe and dub campaign materials?

Language and sensory disabilities can each provide barriers for accessing the messaging to make an informed choice. In many ways, taking these steps shows more commitment to inclusion for those audiences than representation does.

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Leaving this here again re special election in NY-03

9,000 18-year olds can determine the special election to replace George Santos in NY-03

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2023/12/3/2209272/-9-000-18-year-olds-can-determine-the-special-election-to-replace-George-Santos-in-NY-03

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Thanks for pointing this out. I must have missed that email. I just made another donation to them directed towards NY-03 efforts.

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I’ve received texts for Anne Kalpan running for NY-03 seat. Any feedback on this candidate?

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It is my understanding that the seat was open in 2022 because the previous imcumbent, a Democrat, ran unsucessfully for Governor.

From https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/12/01/george-santos-replacement-house/:

Though no one has officially declared a candidacy for the special election, several people have already announced that they intend to run for the seat in 2024. Former House member Thomas Suozzi, a Long Island Democrat who gave up his seat representing the 3rd District after three terms to run for governor, is among them. Other Democratic contenders include Democratic fundraiser Zak Malamed, former New York state senator Anna Kaplan and Josh Lafazan, a member of the Nassau County legislature.

The Republicans eyeing the seat in 2024 include investment banker and Afghanistan war veteran Kellen Curry, former New York Police Department detective Mike Sapraicone and former Israel Defense Forces member Daniel Norber.

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I initially thought it was an open election since I sawe there wouldn't be a primary, but from another article in the WaPo

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/12/05/ny-santos-special-election/):

Under New York law, there are no primaries during special elections, which means local parties choose their nominees.

From that same article, Gov. Hochul has set the primary for Feb 13,

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"Flipping The House - I’d like to pick between 6 and 10 open seat and challenger races for the House, and focus on helping them win in 2024."

I want to advocate for CA27 to be one of your target districts. In 2020, the last presidential cycle, we came within less than 1,000 votes of flipping the seat. Since redistricting, the area has become more Democratic. In 2022, the NRCC and other Republican groups outspent our candidate by $10 million. This D+4 seat is vital to taking back the house.

To win the seat, we need to mobilize Democratic voters in the Antelope Valley part of the district. Our current rep, Mike Garcia, is a MAGA Republican flying under the radar. He is an election denier with an ultra-conservative voting record who has done an excellent job staying out of the media's gaze. The voters in the district need to understand who he is and how far off he is from our district's values.

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