“There is a lot at stake:” Democrats plan days of action with one year left until 2016 election
WASHINGTON – This week, Democrats are kicking off “Keep America Moving Forward” days of action to mark one year out from the November 2016 elections.
According to officials with the Democratic National Committee, across the country this week, Democratic state parties will be holding a variety of engagement activities to spread the word to their friends and neighbors about the importance of protecting the economic improvement under President Obama’s leadership, and to continue creating economic opportunity for the middle class.
DNC officials say it’s clear that Republican presidential candidates are set on reversing those gains and dragging our country back to economic policies like tax cuts for the super-wealthy that already proved disastrous under previous Republican presidents.
“Keep America Moving Forward” events across the country are designed to look to the future, mobilizing, energizing, and engaging voters through voter registration, volunteer recruitment, training and other events, DNC officials say. From Nevada to New Jersey, Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, and Ohio to Florida, state Democratic parties are already gearing up for a competitive election year.
“There is a lot at stake in the upcoming elections,” said Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “From the White House to state legislatures to city halls, voters will have a choice between Republican candidates looking to drag our country backwards, or Democrats who’ll build on a strong record of success. The question is, do we want Republicans to take us back to when we were losing 800,000 jobs a month, foreclosure signs littered streets across America, and insurance companies could deny insurance to cancer survivors like me? Or do we want a Democrat in the White House who will build on the progress we’ve made as a country in creating economic security and expanding opportunities for the middle class? Democratic candidates are the ones who will keep America moving forward, and the Democratic Party on both the national and local level will remind voters of that fact throughout this campaign.”
As part of the kick off and in anticipation of the fourth GOP presidential debate set for Tuesday evening, November 10th in Milwaukee, to be aired on Fox Business Network, the DNC Communications Office also issued a report on the economic progress that has been made under Democratic leadership in the White House, and what the promises of Republican candidates would mean to the middle class. The report will help Democrats across the country hold the Republican field accountable at watch parties and media interviews reacting to the debate.
Below is a sampling of events taking place in the coming days throughout the country, according to DNC officials:
Debate Watch Parties
- As Democratic candidates head to Iowa Saturday to take the stage at the DNC/Iowa Democratic Party/CBS/KCCI/Des Moines Register debate, Democratic parties across the country are organizing debate watch events that include recruiting and energizing volunteers and new voices who speak to what’s at stake in this election to their local media.
- For the last debate in Nevada, more than 200 watch parties were held in more than 30 states by state and local parties, with several others held by Democrats abroad around the world.
- In Iowa, the state Democratic Party will hold a number of events around the debate, including a roundtable with Iowans who are concerned about what Republican policies would mean for them and their families.
Training Workshops for Candidates and Campaign Staff
- States parties in Alaska, Alabama, and others will be kicking off coordinated campaign training workshops with candidates and campaign managers from federal, state, county and local races.
- Training on data sharing and voter targeting will also be taking place, including in states like Arizona, South Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and throughout the country.
Voter Registration Drives
- State parties all across the country will be engaging in voter registration, from Arizona’s voter registration weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday, to Oklahoma’s voter registration and visibility during college and university football game day celebrations.
- State parties are also teaming up with College Democrats throughout the country to register millennial voters and students to vote.
Messaging and Communications Training
- Western states will be gathering at a Western Communications Summit in Salt Lake City next week to review best practices and the key messages already shaping this election cycle. That event will include Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona democrats.
- Other states will be holding message training workshops as well, including Maryland, Texas, and Utah.
- Several states just went through elections last week, with several states seeing important victories like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Connecticut where the state party mobilized 150,000 voter contact calls and upwards of 1,500 volunteers.
- That’s also true of Mississippi where state Democrats reelected the state Attorney General with 56% of the vote, won a majority on the public service commission and won 3 out of 4 targeted District Attorney races.
- At the same time, a number of elections in other parts of the country helped lay the groundwork for strengthening the party’s voter engagement heading into the 2016 elections. Even in a challenging electoral environment in Kentucky, investments helped Democrats win two statewide races including the re-election of the Secretary of State and the election of a new Attorney General, helping to build the bench in that state.
- As we move closer to 2016, those states who had elections in 2015 will be assessing the strength of their operations and ensuring that the training of staff, volunteers, and collection of voter data will feed into efforts going into 2016.
Caucus and Early Vote Prep
- States like Iowa and Nevada, which hold the first two caucuses of the primary process, will be holding a number of events in preparation of their nominating contests, with Iowa holding a training on its caucuses this week, and Nevada launching “100 Days to the Caucus” events across the state that will include volunteer training.