(Meyer was referring to the 2017 race between Democrat Shelly Simonds and incumbent Republican David Yancey in Virginia’s 94th District in the House of Delegates. Simonds led by one vote, until a three-judge panel accepted a mismarked ballot, which originally had been tossed, as a vote for Yancey, making the race a tie. Instead of a coin flip to break the tie, it was decided to pull a name out of a bowl to decide the winner. Yancey’s name was drawn from the bowl, he was declared the winner, and Republicans kept control of the Virginia House of Delegates, 51-49.)
Meyer drove home his point. “And so anybody who leaves any last sense or bit of energy on the field will feel my wrath if we lose by the flip of a coin!”
The crowd laughed and applauded. Of course, he was kidding about the “wrath” part. I think.
Taking “no days off” is a tall order. We all have lives to lead. Many of us have loved ones to care for, jobs to go to each day to pay the rent and put food on the table, classes to attend, and responsibilities that must be met just to survive. All of that is on top of the fact that the vast majority of us are putting in time on election efforts as volunteers, and also are contributing money to various candidates’ campaigns and political campaign groups.
But in the push to elect more Democrats, we can never forget that every vote counts, a message that was emphasized by every panel member. They all stressed the need for organizing and engaging volunteers, harnessing the new wave of energy that has been growing since November of 2016. It means working at state and local levels to elect Democrats in those races as well as those at national levels. Success depends on every door you knock on, every phone call you make.
How many races are coming down to razor-thin margins, such as the special election for the House seat in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District? Every vote counts.
Here’s an example of a campaign taking no time off, ready to jump from a primary win to a general election race:
Okay, so we’re not all Jason Kander. We still need to take early opportunities to get involved and for campaigns to accept help, early and often. And yes, I know I’m preaching to the choir.
After the 2018 midterm elections come the 2020 elections. But that’s not just a presidential election; it also means electing state legislatures that will redraw legislative district boundaries. The main reason we’re in this gerrymandered mess is that Republicans were wildly successful in the 2010 elections with the help of their Redmap project, when Republicans flipped 19 legislative bodies to GOP control. They will keep that legislative advantage until more Democrats can take over more state legislatures to redraw those boundaries.
So let’s make that two mantras. No days off and every vote counts.
A video of this panel is available to watch online. Details about all of the events at Netroots Nation also are still available online. Videos of speeches from Netroots’ keynote sessions are available on the Netroots Facebook page.