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2020 Marching Orders

Dear All, Don’t be depressed by the headwinds of impeachment, Iran or the countdown to the Iowa caucuses.

Good news abounds. 2020 is already a harbinger of optimism that we can wrest power from those who spent the last decade bending democracy to the breaking point. A giant sense of relief should be stoked by turning the page on the era that witnessed the gravest threats to the integrity of American democracy since the Civil War. If it isn't, catch up with some of the latest promising data regarding how Democrats will fare come November.

Start with the Senate. The notion that Democrats could flip the Senate in November was once considered the impossible dream. No more. Poll-meister Charlie Cook started the ball rolling when he shifted the Maine senatorial race from “Leans Republican” to “Toss-up,” a reflection of the improving odds that likely Democratic nominee Sara Gideon will defeat faux moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins. Then, late last month, Cook helped change the calculus of the political landscape by declaring the Senate is in play. Granted, taking back the Senate is hardly a slam dunk. But, as Cook explains in this interview in The Daily Beast, it’s beginning to appear that Democrats could replicate the dynamics of 2018 blue wave that helped them retake the House.

Now, as some Democratic senatorial candidates gain support, analysis about how Republicans could lose their majority abounds. In her piece, “This is How Democrats Can Flip the Senate,” WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin shares a roadmap that will result in Moscow Mitch’s ouster as majority leader. Rubin brands Collins and Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado as “vulnerable” and cites Democratic senatorial pick-up ops in Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona. She also predicts that Democrats could pull off upset victories in long shot seats in Iowa, Texas — and, brace yourself — Kansas. 

Meanwhile, Trump’s stock continues to sink at home and abroad. First, as reported by Politico, a new Pew Research Center poll found the president is more distrusted worldwide than Russian President Vladimir Putin or China’s Xi Jinping. The survey of people in more than 30 countries by Pew Research Center showed the U.S. president had the most negative ratings out of five world leaders when participants were asked whether they trusted them to do the right thing in world affairs. Sixty-four percent said they had no confidence in Trump, compared with 57 percent for Putin and 43 percent for Xi. Just 29 percent had confidence in Trump.

On the domestic front, by more than 2-1, Americans said the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani has made the United States less safe, a nationwide USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll found. A majority of those surveyed, by 52%-34%, called President Donald Trump's behavior with Iran “reckless” amid broad concerns about the potential consequences.

Next, let’s tackle your top concern about 2020: namely, your all-consuming fear that Donald Trump will be re-elected. Like an omnipresent ooze it infects your spirit and makes you vulnerable to those who declare, with absolute certainty, that Trump will win in November. Here’s the truth: No one knows who will win in November. Yet, we are susceptible to believing the worst because, well, been there, done that. 

"Democrats are particularly prone to toggling between overconfident jubilance and terrified paralysis,” observed a Wisconsin Democratic Party official. NYT columnist Michelle Goldberg offers her prescriptive for purging that angst in her piece “The Cure for Democrats’ 2020 Terror.” Her bottom line mirrors mine: The blue wave of 2018 wasn’t preordained — people built it. They’re building another. The only cure for worrying about whether it will be big enough is to help.”

Or, as Nancy Pelosi would say, “Don’t agonize. Organize.” That’s precisely why I started writing in this space 3 years ago. I had rallied a group of about 150 to take to the streets for the first Women’s March in New York City. We dubbed our group “Don’t Tread On Us” and had blue hats made up (with a splash of Trump orange to resemble his bizarre hair swirl) so we could locate one another in the throngs. Instead, we became tiny unconnected blue dots in the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.

Come this Saturday, January 18, you can break out your marching shoes to resurrect that heady feeling of hope you experienced when you took to the streets 3 years ago. Two organizations are staging marches. If you want to head to Washington, DC — or locate a sister march closest to where you live — use this link. You’ll find info for what’s been dubbed the “Rise & Roar” march in New York City here

Or, stay home and do at least one thing that advances the cause of strengthening our democracy. Join your local political party committee. Volunteer to work with a group that’s fighting voter suppression like Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight. Take a page from the Indivisible playbook and Sign up to make some calls connecting voters to senators to demand a complete and fair impeachment trial.

Finally, heartfelt thanks to all of you who made our month-long campaign -- “Ten Early Money Races to Hold the House & Help Flip the Senate” -- such a smashing success. Contributions from all over the country rolled in and we raised over $70,000. The fact I didn’t recognize over half of the names of those who donated attests to your power in spreading the word. Reps. Elissa Slotkin, Anthony Brindisi and Abby Finkenauer were among those who expressed their gratitude for your support as well. 

Onward,

Jane

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