Identify where the most disenfranchised voters liveMost campaigns use lists of where existing, active voters live to plan their campaigns - but we’re going to do exactly the opposite, because we believe disenfranchised and marginalized people’s voices should matter - and we all must rise together.
Mobilize hundreds of volunteersIn order to have the impact we need to win, we will need hundreds of volunteers - knocking on doors, making calls, and helping at events. We’ll both be recruiting individual volunteers and also working to create partnerships with key nonprofit organizations, churches, community centers, and social justice organizations.
Visit every neighborhood and every communityWe’re going to visit every neighborhood in our cities, and every county across the district. We think hearing from everyone is vitally important to making sure everyone is represented in Congress when we win the congressional seat.
Register thousands of new voters before October 9thWe’re not a red state, we’re a non-voting state. We’re 50th in the nation for voter turnout - and with Hamilton County, our biggest metropolitan area in the district, being dead last for voter turnout of the 95 counties in Tennessee - we understand how vital restoring confidence that everyone’s voice matters is. This is the path to victory, and will have a permanent impact - not just for Dr. Mitchell, but every future election, too.
Get out the vote during early voting and election day!Once we register voters and the registration period is over, we'll shift to efforts to get out the vote - to get supporters of Dr. Mitchell and our newly registered people to the polls. To do that, we'll log thousands of phone calls, doors knocked, and postcards sent to remind people to go vote!
WHY WE CAN WIN
Before we get to how we’re going to win, let’s talk about why some people think we don’t have a shot at winning.
Hamilton County, the largest metro in the 3rd Congressional District, had the lowest voter turnout in the state in the 2018 Primary.
And Tennessee is dead last - 50th in the nation - for voter turnout.
There are many reasons, but the chief of these is
that we no longer feel like our vote matters as Tennesseans.
And it’s been a long time since we’ve felt that way:
THE LAST DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT TO WIN TENNESSEE?
Bill clinton, in 1996
The last time democrats controlled the state House & Senate?
The last democratic governor to win tennessee?
Phil bredesen, in 2006
So the skeptics’ argument is simple:
In a normal year, under normal circumstances,
a normal Democratic candidate doesn’t normally win.
But this isn’t a normal year.
The 2016 election was a shock to millions of us. But in the weeks and months that followed, the shock wore off and people got organized. Citizens decided that they couldn’t sit on the sidelines. They marched and they protested. They volunteered. They talked to friends, family, neighbors, and strangers in public places about the issues.
They registered to vote. And they voted.
In Virginia, Democrats surged to victory up and down the ballot. Alabama, a state that Trump won by nearly 28 points, elected its first Democratic senator since 1997. In elections all across the country, from congressional seats to city council seats, in red states, in blue states, and in purple states, we’ve seen the same thing: Democratic voters surging to the polls in often-historic numbers.
So, first, Donald Trump is president. Second, Tennessee is changing. We’re becoming more diverse and multicultural - and young people are more engaged in our politics than ever.
She also isn’t running a normal campaign.
We’re working to elect Dr. Mitchell because we believe in her message, her platform, and her principles.
But that’s not the only thing that makes her a more competitive candidate. She’s running her campaign both for the everyday people, and with the help of everyday people.
We believe in her, and she believes in us.
She’s raising money in a different way.
She’s not taking money from corporate PACs,
instead taking only donations from Tennesseans like you and me.
And she’s visiting all 11 counties in the 3rd District,
and every neighborhood in our major cities,
as a part of her Grand Listening Tour.
And it turns out that when you treat people with dignity and respect – when you listen to them and take time to understand their lives – a lot of them decide to get behind you. To join you. And that changes what kind of campaign we can run. It’s not just that people want to vote for Dr. Mitchell – they want to get to work to help elect her.
HOW WE CAN WIN
To recap, we are living in a unique political moment – both nationally and in Tennessee
and we have a unique candidate who has inspired hundreds of people to volunteer.
So, what do we have to do to win?
Very simply, we have to get more people to vote. We have to increase voter turnout. And we can’t risk falling short.
“Swing Voters” aren’t the majority
There’s a common misconception that elections are mostly decided by so-called “swing voters” – voters who can be persuaded to vote for one candidate or the other – and that campaigns should focus all of their energy on people who make up their mind in the final weeks of an election.
We hear this argument a lot in Tennessee. You’ve probably heard it from someone you know or from some skeptical media pundit: “Sure, people are excited about Dr. Mitchell, but there just aren’t enough swing voters in Tennessee for her to win.”
But, if you do the math, it turns out that’s not true.
The truth is that Tennessee is not a red state. It’s a non-voting state. The key to winning this election is increasing voter turnout. Getting people off the sidelines, engaged, and in the game.
Now that definitely doesn’t mean writing anyone off – Dr. Mitchell is running to represent all of us, and is making her case to everyone – but it means that, as volunteers, we have to focus our energy and resources responsibly.
Remember, Tennessee is last in the country for voter turnout - and our biggest county is last in our state.
This represents a major opportunity.
The truth is that most people aren’t trying to decide which party to vote for – they’re deciding whether to vote at all.
So if we can figure out who those likely non-voters are, and find some way to get them to the polls, we’ll be able to win.
We have a plan to do just that: Organize more volunteers to knock on more doors, make more phone calls, send more text messages, and talk to more voters than any campaign in the history of Chattanooga & Oak Ridge, our district’s major metropolitan areas.
Many smaller campaigns don’t pull voter data to validate what they’ve learned through experience. But we did. And we’ve learned a few things:
There is nothing more powerful than person to person conversations between well-trained volunteers and voters at increasing voter turnout. You have more power to increase voter turnout than anything campaigns can pay for.
The kind of conversation you have matters. If we just tell someone to vote, it doesn’t make them a lot more likely to vote. We have to give them a reason - and that starts by telling them why this election is so important to you, your community, and our state.
The key is making people realize that their vote not only has an impact, but their decision not to vote could impact our state and country for decades to come. The fact that they can’t risk sitting this one out.
HELP US REGISTER
OF NEW VOTERS &
WIN THIS RACE