Nuts & Bolts: A guide to Democratic campaigns—Local, regional and national efforts

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D.I.Y.ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

This year we are following activists as they work to build up their networks and promote their cause. This week we will look at local, regional, and national efforts in activism and why you should build your network beyond your city or state.

Many activist groups begin as an offshoot of a national entity. From chapters of MoveOn to the Sierra Club, these groups have a built-in structure that extends nationally. Many of the groups born out of the 2016 national election also began with a national joining force, whether it is Progressive Student Network or Indivisible. What they may not have come with

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Morning Digest: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein will reportedly draw a top Democrat as challenger

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

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CA-Sen: According to three unnamed sources, CNN is reporting that state Senate President Kevin de León “intends” to launch an intra-party challenge to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and will make an announcement “soon.” De León, who represents a seat in the Los Angeles area and faces term limits next year, had previously refused to rule out a bid and harshly criticized Feinstein for counseling “patience” toward Donald Trump, so it wouldn’t be any sort of surprise to see him jump in, though he has yet to confirm his plans publicly.

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Billionaire activist Tom Steyer has also been considering a run for Senate, and he may be

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Morning Digest: GOP boy wonder Josh Hawley joins Missouri Senate race

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

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MO-Sen: On Tuesday, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that he would seek the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Hawley seems to have already emerged as a rare candidate who has the love of the GOP’s many warring factions. Hawley has reportedly been the preferred recruit of the NRSC for months, while their frequent antagonists at the anti-tax Club for Growth announced back in August that they’d already raised $10 million to support him. And while the white supremacist site Breitbart has instinctively targeted plenty of allies of the GOP establishment, they’ve given Hawley fawning coverage. Several prominent state Republicans, including ex-Sen. John Danforth, have also been

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Nuts & Bolts: A guide to Democratic campaigns—Dealing with pushback

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D.I.Y.ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

This year we are following activists as they work to build up their networks and promote their cause. As your group grows, it becomes time to start talking about pushback. That’s right, you are going to run into Republican operatives, trackers, lunatics, protestors, and so on. There are right ways and wrong ways to deal with outside groups who just want to drag you down. 

Dealing with the pushback isn’t always fun—but it can also be a sign that your organization is having some impact on the community. How you handle organizational pushback can be important in making sure that

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Voting Rights Roundup: Anthony Kennedy signals Supreme Court may strike down partisan gerrymandering

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Wisconsin: The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a landmark lawsuit that could place limits on the ability of lawmakers to draw election districts to favor their own party, a case we’ve written about in detail in the past. Justice Anthony Kennedy has long been expected to be the swing vote in this case, called Gill v. Whitford. Following his questions during these arguments, many analysts were surprised to find themselves concluding that he sounded inclined to clamp down on partisan gerrymandering.

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​Most notably, Kennedy repeatedly grilled the lawyers for Wisconsin’s Republican legislators, who are defending the state’s gerrymander, while he posed no questions to the attorneys representing the Democratic plaintiffs seeking to invalidate the GOP’s map for the state Assembly, which is the focal point of the case. Academic research on oral arguments at the Supreme Court has long supported

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Morning Digest: After just one day, GOP Rep. Tim Murphy switches from ‘retiring’ to ‘resigning’

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

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PA-18: On Thursday, scandal-tarred Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Tim Murphy announced that he would resign from Congress, effective Oct. 21. Murphy’s departure came one day after he said that he’d complete his term but not seek re-election next year (though we suspected he might accelerate the timetable for his departure). Under Pennsylvania law, local party delegates will select their candidates for an upcoming special election rather than hold primaries. It’s not clear when the special will be, but it’s too late to hold it on Nov. 7 along with Pennsylvania’s other regularly scheduled contests.

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Murphy, who has always been a loud and proud opponent of abortion, had easily won

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Daily Kos endorses Stacey Abrams, who would be Georgia’s—and America’s—first black woman governor

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During a recent interview, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams was asked why she wants to run for governor. After all, she is an accomplished tax attorney specializing in nonprofit organizations who was appointed as Atlanta’s deputy city attorney before she was 30. She has also written eight romance novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery. She is a rising star in the Democratic Party and has been recognized nationally for her political accomplishments. She could easily have her choice of any job.

But serving others is a value deeply instilled in Abrams by her parents, and she believes that people deserve to live free of poverty so that they can reach their full potential. It is for these reasons, and more, that Daily Kos is pleased to endorse her for governor.

Abrams had this to say about why she’s running:

“I am offended by poverty. I think it is immoral

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