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Progressive Chair Ellison Launches GOTV Program


As a whole, non-voters are more progressive than voters, and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Keith Ellison has a new program to get them to the ballot box.

One in three. That’s how many people eligible to vote actually did in 2014. It was the lowest turnout since World War II.

We’ve seen the results of declining turnout. Democrats have lost 910 state legislative seats since 2008 and have only 18 governors. Republicans have the biggest majority in Congress since the Truman administration.

I am launching a Voters First program to put voters at the center of our politics with effective grassroots organizing and a commitment to increasing turnout. Voters First aims for a resurgence of civic participation to take back the states and the Congress. Today, I’m calling on campaigns to commit to run by Voters First principles. I’m also asking for individuals and groups to endorse our effort at votersfirstcampaign.com.

What is Voters First? A Voters First campaign commits first to boost voter turnout by 3 to 7 percent over the last comparable election cycle and invest in field to achieve this target. There is an ideological gap among voters. According to a Pew poll, 78 percent of consistent conservatives vote, but only 58 percent of consistent liberals do.

Consultants and donors routinely ask candidates how much money they are going to raise for their TV advertising budgets. They should also ask them how much they are going to raise for organizing voters. Why? Because while TV ads may help convince a voter whom to support, there is little evidence TV ads help turn out new voters. In fact, negative ad wars can turn off voters by reinforcing cynicism about politics.

Read Rep. Ellison’s entire commentary at The Nation.

 





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