Our Winning Strategy:
- Select vulnerable legislators who are up for election, who have voted for unpopular bills, and are clearly influenced by big money.
- Identify movement candidates not beholden to Wall Street who will support our goals, energize people and give them hope. Find ways to support these candidates both with your time and money. Both of the major U.S. political parties are entrenched in big money and are having trouble changing. We have to show them that publicly funded candidates can indeed win and take their seats.
Some Encouraging Research
There is some good news from important recent research from Joshua Kalla (University of California) and David Broockman (Stanford University). Using data from 49 field experiments they found that the best estimate of the effects of advertising and campaign contact (mail, phone, canvassing) on Americans’ candidates choices in general elections is zero. In other words, virtually all the millions of dollars spent on television advertising in the general elections accomplishes very little, other than making the television networks richer. They did find that “campaigns are able to have meaningful persuasive effects in primary and ballot measure campaigns, when partisan cues are not present”.
This is good news for candidates that do not take large donations from billionaires, corporations and Super PACS. It means they can run effective campaigns with less money and still win.
Some Ideas for Taking Action:
- Identify vulnerable candidates in your state and publicize that information
- Turn your democracy group into a campaign team to support a movement candidate (see Election 2020 page)
- Run for office
- Encourage people to ignore television ads, particularly those that are negative
- Write letters to the editor
- Arrange local debates
- Endorse a candidate
- Invite your endorsed candidate to speak at an event that you organize