Lessons learned from Conor Lamb’s big win in PA-18 last night
- EVERY DISTRICT IS DIFFERENT and we ignore those differences at our peril. When our Vetting Committee started vetting Conor, we did what we always do: look at the district first. What’s the Cook PVI? What is the voting history of the district? What are the district demographics? Then we look at the candidates and choose the most progressive candidate that the district will bear. Sometimes that means we pick a Justice Democrat like Randy Bryce. Other times, that means we pick a moderate Democrat like Conor Lamb.
- LISTEN TO THE CAMPAIGN: Conor Lamb’s campaign knew his district. He grew up there, lived there all of his life, and understood the people. He knew that constantly bashing Trump was not going to get him elected. He knew that talking to national press was not going to get him elected. He knew that help from movie stars was not going to to get him elected. He knew that social media was not going to get him elected. (Social media played a HUGE part in fundraising for him so he could mobilize on the ground, though. That’s all you guys.) It was boots on the ground, knocking on doors, talking to voters, finding out what their fears and anxieties were that did it. This is why we always try to get campaigns on board when we do #COTD’s and Twitterstorms. It’s important to follow the campaign’s lead. For instance, if a candidate doesn’t want to go after their Republican opponent because that opponent is still popular in the district, we shouldn’t either. If they don’t want anyone from outside the district writing postcards to voters because it will turn voters off, we should respect that.
- DEMOCRATS NEED TO RUN IN EVERY DISTRICT and the #BlueWave2018 needs to support every district. #PA18 is a district that Democrats didn’t even field a candidate for in 2016. We all know that there are deep red districts that Democrats don’t have a shot in hell of flipping. Run anyway. Support them anyway. If nothing else, when Democrats run, that means that the Republicans have to defend their seat, which in turn means they have to spend money they wouldn’t ordinarily spend. The more money spent in deep red, say, Mississippi, the less money there is to defend a toss-up district.
- WE WON’T WIN UNLESS WE UNITE: If you’ll notice, we don’t have arguments on the Blue Wave Crowdsource Slack about whether Bernie would have won or Hillary lost because the DNC threw the primary for Hillary, etc., ad nauseam. I won’t have it. All kinds of bad shit went down in 2016, but it’s 2018 now. We have to work together or we’re going to be looking at another 4 years of Trump. I caucused for Bernie, but I enthusiastically voted for Hillary and would do so again over Trump. Is there any Democrat you can think of that you would NOT vote for over Trump? If so, this is not the place for you.
I’m proud of the work we’ve done here, and I’m so proud of all of you for working together! I’ve been working with a volunteer web designer, building a website for Blue Wave Crowdsource that we’ll be sharing soon. There are so many exciting things in store for us here. If you know someone who isn’t here but should be, send them this signup link: tinyurl.com/bluewave18
Founder and Den Mom, Blue Wave Crowdsource