Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Winning Virginia, and Voting on Day 1
Early vote starts on Friday, September 22
It’s time to take the great grassroots machine that has been winning elections across the US since the spring of 2022 and turn it towards Virginia. Many of you are already involved in Virginia, and I want to thank you for that. For those of you haven’t taken a step - donating, canvassing, making calls, texting, postcarding - I hope you will commit to help us in Virginia today, and do something that will have an impact on driving the early vote which begins next Friday, September 22nd.
There are many ways to get involved in Virginia, but I am recommending two today:
Our good friends at NetworkNOVA (one of my favorite grassroots groups)
For those working on other ways of helping out, please share it in the comments section below (which is open to all Hopium subscribers today).
Here’s how President Biden described the importance of Virginia on Wednesday, via an article, Pointing To Youngkin, Biden Says ‘Stakes Have Never Been Higher’ in Virginia Ahead of Elections:
the president signaled more could be on its way at a Democratic fundraiser Wednesday in northern Virginia. According to a transcript from the White House, Biden said he’s “going to do more” and “committed to leading the charge” in the commonwealth.
“I want to make it clear the real reason I’m here,” Biden said during the campaign reception in Fairfax County. “I’ve been told by every one of the elected officials that are on the federal level there’s one thing: The first election, as Senator [Mark] Warner said, of ‘24 is your election here in Virginia.”
“And I want you to know I’m going to do everything I can to raise as much money for you guys — we’ve already done a fair amount — making sure that you guys win,” the president continued.
Biden then touted major legislative packages he has signed into law, including the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, pointing to what they have and will bring to Virginia.
The president also looked ahead to his future goals, saying he believes there’s “a shot at” codifying Roe v. Wade into federal law and calling for an assault weapons ban. Biden then took aim at Gov. Glenn Youngkin and other Virginia Republicans.
“And, folks, here in Virginia, the stakes have never been higher. Governor Glenn Youngkin and the extreme Republicans have made it clear that they’re trying to take us back on issues like choice,” the president said. “Virginia is, to state the obvious, a key battleground state. And I’m committed to leading the charge here.”
Here’s a new ad from Virginia Democrats about these critical fall elections:
Why The Early Vote and Voting on Day 1 Matters So Much in Virginia and Across the US - I want to return to something we discussed yesterday - the need from Dems across the country to understand why we need to adopt a “Vote on Day 1” approach everywhere.
When you vote in an election the local registrars make that information available to the campaigns. Not how you voted, but that you have voted. The campaign then takes that information and takes you off their Get Out The Vote rolls. No more calls, door knocks, texts, mailers (sometimes). The campaign moves on to other voters who haven’t voted yet.
Let’s say our campaign is targeting 100 voters for GOTV but only has the capacity to reach 40. If 30 people vote on the first day, the campaign is now targeting voters 31-70, not 1-40. And these secondary GOTV targets are often people who vote infrequently, so giving them a shove really matters. When you vote early, and allow a campaign to start targeting lower propensity voters right away, you are creating more Democratic votes and increasing turnout. Voting on Day 1 helps us create more Democratic votes and helps us win.
Let’s apply this model to Virginia. Let’s say our target there is a 1 million voters, and we have the capacity to reach 400,000. If 300,000 Democrats vote on Day 1 (or day 2-3), the VA campaigns can start immediately moving on to voters 300,001 to 700,000 (voters on the voter file are ranked by likelihood of voting). By voting on Day 1, you allow the campaign to start working on voters who need a bit more of a push, and we know from the last few elections that this will increase turnout overall. Voting on Day 1 increases Democratic turnout and makes it more likely we win.
The other thing Voting on Day 1 does is create a narrative in the media that “turnout is heavy, lot’s of people are voting” which creates a permission structure and pressure for others to vote who were not sure they were going to. It’s a bit of - “I guess everyone else is voting so I need to do it too.” This kicks in what I call “the virtuous cycle of participation” where action creates more action. In this other way Voting on Day 1 again helps increase turnout, making it more likely we win.
Voting on Day 1 is really important for Democrats. There are more Democrats than Republicans in America, but we have more infrequent voters in our coalition. Using Vote on Day 1 strategies, and all the ways we now can reach voters to encourage them to turn out - canvassing, calls/texts, postcards - has made our turnout machine much stronger and more effective than it has ever been. It’s a central reason we are seeing Democrats continue to outperform expectations, and perform at the upper end of what’s possible - because we have new and more powerful ways to reach our voters and get them to vote. Voting on Day 1 and pushing the early vote is most important in an off year election like Virginia where the pool of Democrats who may not vote is the largest of any election. These off year elections is where this kind of approach can make the biggest difference. Can we contact every voter in the key swing districts who voted in 2020, 2021 and 2022? With this system, the extra time of the early vote and all of you I think we can. Contacting every targeted voter in every swing race would have been unimaginable a decade ago. Now it is possible - but only if we do the work, together.
Where we really saw the impact of this new system last year was in the early vote. We did better in the early vote across the US than we did in either 2018 or 2020, and the early vote got more Democratic each day in the final week. Tom Bonier and I could literally see the impact of this new, powerful turnout machine across the US in the data every morning. Your work each day was making the election better for us. Your work, these new tactics, is playing a critical role in helping us win elections no one thought we could win.
So we need to turn on this strategy and this machine in Virginia now. Encourage your networks to promote Day 1 voting. If you live in Virginia vote next Friday - do not wait. If you are already working on Virginia - thank you. And if you haven’t signed up for a shift of calls/texts/postcards/canvassing for next week so you are helping drive Day 1 (or day 2, 3) voting please do today. Do not wait. The most important week of the Virginia election may be that first week for all the reasons we cite here. Let’s go win this thing next week and not wait for the last day of voting in November to do the work we need to do.
Here’s a video from our friends at Network NOVA which explains why Voting on Day 1 matters, and what they are doing to drive the early vote (see their Sept 22nd early vote happy hours across Virginia):
Voting on Day 1 in 2024 - I am asking everyone in the Hopium community to commit to Vote on Day 1 in every election they can vote in from now on, and help tell others why this matters so much. Let’s create millions of Day 1 2024 voters together in the next 13-14 months. Have these conversations with friends. Share this post. We have tools to drive Democratic performance we’ve never had before, and we need to use them to not just win next year, but to get to 55 and make 2024 the clear repudiation of MAGA we all need it to be.
Keep working hard all, and feel free to share what you are doing to help us win in Virginia in the comments section below. Let’s do this people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Simon