Candidates who ran great campaigns — and should have won — lost in the Republican wave. Bold progressives achieved some important victories Election Night, and some were too close for comfort.
But progressives need to remember that we don’t just work for one election, one candidate, or one party. The PCCC and its members work to build a movement, to build long-term progressive power.
The PCCC Post-Election Report outlines the huge investments made this election cycle that are now for the long term — in future leaders, new technology, new best practices, and more member empowerment. All in addition to congressional victories. Check it out here.
In the days ahead, there will be a national conversation about the future direction of the Democratic Party — and the progressive movement.
Frankly, Democrats did not have a united economic agenda in this election. There was a lack of big ideas. Some Democrats tried to sound like Republicans, and they lost.
Elizabeth Warren was the most popular Democrat on the campaign trail for a reason: Her message of taking on Wall Street, reducing student debt, and expanding Social Security benefits is popular everywhere — red, purple, and blue states.
Moving forward, something needs to change. America needs a bigger politics.
Progressives won’t win their own tidal wave elections unless they can build a movement around big ideas — free college, full employment, Medicare for All, more Social Security — and the candidates who campaign on those ideas. Elizabeth Warren is the best example. But there are thousands of others out there who believe in a more expansive vision of political change.
The PCCC started down this path in 2013 — when our members changed the national debate from cutting Social Security to expanding it. Many candidates won last night by running on that message.
The PCCC is very proud to have helped Senators Al Franken (MN), Jeff Merkley (OR), and Brian Schatz (HI) win re-election. Social Security champions Rick Nolan (MN) and Mike Honda (CA) won their races by 1.5% and 4.5% respectively — after thousands of donations and phone calls from PCCC members.
Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ) and Ruben Gallego (AZ) will be new rising stars in the Congressional Progressive Caucus after the PCCC helped them achieve big primary victories. And many state and local candidates won this cycle with the PCCC’s help:
- 4 million phone calls for progressive candidates through the PCCC’s Call Out The Vote program.
- Nearly $1.5 million raised for progressive campaigns through 197,681 small-dollar donations.
- 600 candidates and campaign staff trained through the PCCC’s P100 Training program.
- 150 candidates supported by the PCCC’s new campaign technology.
- Hundreds of local and national headlines with the PCCC’s progressive messaging.
If progressives start now, the PCCC and its members can lay the groundwork for candidates in 2016 and beyond to stand for something — and to pass big ideas into law. That is route to power for bold progressives.