It’s less than 20 weeks to Election Day, and the worst possible thing is happening right now: Democrats are starting to think they have the election in the bag.
Yes, Donald Trump’s national poll numbers are slumping across the board right now. Trump’s devastating bungling of the coronavirus pandemic, the depth of the economic crisis he exacerbated, and his violently racist response to the Black Lives Matter protests have been epic disasters.
But seriously. Didn’t we learn ANYTHING from 2016?
As bad as Trump’s numbers are now, his base still loves him, and he still has a massive advantage in the Electoral College.1 He has way more money than the Biden campaign.2 His campaign is light-years ahead of Democrats in harvesting voter data and targeting voters on social media—and Trump’s campaign is tapping into the destructive expertise of disinformation tactics online.3,4 And as the primaries have unfolded during the pandemic, we’ve seen how far Republicans will go to suppress the vote—especially of voters of color—in key states like Wisconsin, Florida, and Georgia.5
On top of all of that, the recent swing in the polls toward Joe Biden can swing right back to Trump. It’s only June.
MoveOn is developing a strategy based on an innovative approach called “Vote Tripling,” and, so far, testing data shows it could be five times more effective than traditional strategies like phone calls and canvassing. Will you chip in $5 a month to help us get this game-changing program off the ground and keep it running in 10 of the most important swing states to defeat Trump in November?
Our innovative new “Vote Tripling” strategy is based on data showing that the best way to increase voter turnout is through social influence and accountability. You see, if you make sure that your close friends and family are going to vote, and they know that YOU are going to vote, then they’re far less likely to blow it off.6
Whether you voted or not is public information—not which candidates you voted for but whether you cast a ballot or not. But most people don’t realize that. They figure that their vote won’t matter, and no one will know whether they voted anyway, so who cares?
That’s the attitude that put Trump in the White House in the first place.
We’ve tested various forms of voter accountability and social influence in the past, and this year we are recruiting hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members in battleground states to sign “Vote Tripling Pledges,” which are commitments to reach out to three friends or family members, help them create plans to vote, and then make sure they actually cast ballots this fall.
Tests have found that this kind of social influence increased voter turnout by more than 10% in voters under 30. That’s five times more effective than phone banking and canvassing.7
Here’s a reality check for people who think Trump will be easy to beat in November. Only two incumbent presidents have been defeated for re-election since World War II: Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.
Trump’s approval ratings are 5 points better than Bush’s and 7 points better than Carter’s were at the same point in their re-election campaigns.8
And that’s after what has to be the worst run of press coverage any president has had in recent memory. Imagine what will happen when the press coverage starts to turn. And you know it will. The media loves to tear down front-runners, and Biden will make mistakes that the press will pounce on.
The people who are still with Trump now will never leave him, and that means he’ll always have a chance of being re-elected. Yes, every poll shows Biden ahead right now. But every poll showed Hillary Clinton ahead of Trump four years ago. And then Trump’s disgusting “Access Hollywood” revelation happened. And Trump still won.
We cannot take this election for granted. If we do, we will lose. MoveOn’s got a great plan to beat Trump, but we need your help to fund it. Given the state of our economy, not everyone is in a position to contribute, but if you can, will you chip in $5 a month to help launch and sustain our data-driven, innovative Vote Tripling program from now through Election Day?
– Kate, Kenia, Allison, Manny, and the rest of the MoveOn team
1. “Why Biden Needs to Win Big,” New York, June 12, 2020
2. “Trump Resumes Fundraising to Build Cash Lead Against Biden,” The New York Times, June 11, 2020
3. “Biden’s campaign rushes to blunt Trump’s digital advantage,” CNN, May 9, 2020
4. “The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President,” The Atlantic, February 10, 2020
5. “Coronavirus chaos in Georgia, Wisconsin a ‘warning sign’ for Democrats,” Politico, June 11, 2020
6. “Social Influence & Voter Turnout,” VoteTripling.org, May 2019
7. “Wired to mobilize: The effect of social networking messages on voter turnout,” The Social Science Journal, June 2015
8. “How popular/unpopular is Donald Trump?” FiveThirtyEight, accessed June 19, 2020
Want to support our work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to resist Trump’s agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation’s pendulum back toward sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it we need your ongoing support, now more than ever. Will you stand with us?