Pop A Maalox, Then Get Busy

Dear All,

If you’re trying to tamp down a discordant mix of fear and hope in this final sprint to Election Day, you’re not alone.  "I go back and forth between very cautious optimism and existential dread,” said my activist friend Ellen who  has worked tirelessly to dump Trump, "And then I text bank to swing states like a maniac so I don't have time to think.”  Or, as Missouri Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver cracked about his pre-election nerves, “Every time I get too happy about the poll numbers, I slap myself and stick my hand over a fire.” Most of us are struggling to suppress the sense of foreboding that the 2016 election is about to be replayed. Or, even worse, that we’ll find ourselves grappling with one of unprecedented doomsday scenarios that could undermine the sanctity of our electoral process. If only we could be as joyful as those voters in Philadelphia who danced the Cha-Cha Slide as they waited to cast their ballots. Or, revel — even briefly -- in the remarkably stable poll numbers that show Democrats poised for a trifecta - taking back the White House, the Senate and fortifying our House majority. For instance, just yesterday, prognosticator Charlie Cook predicted that, because the cone of uncertainty has narrowed, there will be “no contested election.” Instead, he sees the likely outcome as either a "skinny" Biden win or a landslide. Increasingly, the notion of a Biden/Harris “landslide” is being invoked by everyone from Rupert Murdoch to Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Nicholas Kristof. Yet, if you dare utter the “L Word” out loud, be prepared to be chastised by skittish Democrats who, haunted by 2016 PTSD, fear being jinxed. As Daily Beast columnist Eleanor Clift observed in her piece, most Democrats are scared to say so, but Joe Biden is poised for a landslide win. “Four years ago Democrats were in denial about Hillary’s weaknesses,” Clift said, "Now they’re afraid to acknowledge Biden’s strengths.”    Lest I be accused of overconfidence, I confess I’m as dysphoric as the next person. As long as Nate Silver still gives Trump even a ten per cent chance to win, I’m a wreck. No matter. Like many of you, my goal is to wake up on November 4th and know I did everything I could to make a difference on November 3rd.

Now with just 72 hours remaining before polls open on Election Day, many are searching for ways to elevate distraction to an art form. While binge-watching all 7 seasons of “The West Wing” or embarking on a baking marathon might work, opting to take a shift on the National Voter Protection Hotline will do a lot more good for the cause. Below you’ll find ways to maximize your voice and help swell the ranks of the Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts underway as well as how to support Democrats locked in tough toss-up races. But first, if you want to lift your spirits about the current state of the race, start with Nate Silver’s analysis, “We have a lot of new polls but there’s little sign of the presidential race tightening" about the durability of Joe Biden’s lead as well as his recent gains in the Midwest. Then, segue to George Will’s latest column with a headline that will make your heart beat faster: “The coming decade of Democratic dominance.” If nothing else, savor his lede: "By a circuitous route to a predictable destination, the 2020 presidential selection process seems almost certain to end Tuesday with a fumigation election. A presidency that began with dark words about “American carnage” probably will receive what it has earned: repudiation.”  Wrap up with “Trump confronts his 50% problem" which explains why “never before in modern presidential politics has a candidate been so reliant on wide-scale efforts to depress the vote as Trump.”

Now dive into your own campaign to turn out the vote by clicking on the blue links below to volunteer. Plus, if you want to kick in that last $5 to help our top House and Senate toss-up candidates, you’ll find those links below. But remember that control of the Senate could easily depend on the outcome of the January 5 runoffs in the two Georgia races, which will certainly attract a tsunami of GOP money as Mitch desperately scrambles to hang on to power. So you may want to husband your financial ammunition for these two races, which could determine how the country recovers from the malicious marauder.

Volunteer Action Ops - To sign up, or for more info, click on the blue links: Protect the Right to Vote - National Voter Assistance Hotline Designed to provide voters with guidance on who, what, where, when and how to vote. Once you sign up, the group will follow up to provide a brief training on how to get you involved.  Wanted: Poll Workers - Power the Polls Since America this year is facing a record shortage of poll workers due to the pandemic, volunteer to be a poll worker on Election Day. GOTV in Swing States - Vote Blue Big Blue GOTV List Thanks to a phenomenal potpourri of GOTV activities, you can choose which extraordinary Democrats you’d like to help cross the finish line. The rich menu includes Jaime Harrison, who's working to pull out a miracle in South Carolina by defeating Senator Lindsey Graham; Eugene DePasquale, who's fighting to flip a key district in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania from red-to-blue; and Rep. Antonio Delgado who’s trying to hold his seat in the deep red NY-19 district he represents. This list, which also includes ways to support Democrats in critical state house races in New York and Pennsylvania, comes courtesy of veteran activist Kate Linker. Make “Cure” Calls - Fight for NC Voter Protection Phone Bank If you’re infuriated by reports that Black voters are seeing their ballots rejected at an alarmingly higher rate than white voters, here’s a way to fight back. Make “cure” calls to help voters whose ballots have been rejected to ensure their voices are heard. You could help flip North Carolina which, according to my former NYT correspondent husband, could tell us by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning whether we take back the White House. In other words, here’s your chance to save votes in what could be the quintessential bellwether state. New volunteers will be trained in advance of working the shift they choose on the website. Phone Banking  Payback time. In 2016, we lost the Electoral College — and the presidency — by 77,000 votes in the following three states. Let’s make sure we win all 77,000 and more on Tuesday. Pennsylvania - Out-Of-State for PA Get Out The Vote Phone Bank Wisconsin      - WisDems Across America - Central GOTV Phonebank Michigan        - Swing Left Phonebank to Win Michigan Election Season Action Ops   How to report voter suppression or irregularities at the polls - If you spot an incident of voter suppression or experience voting issues you think should be reported, this is the place to go.  Working in partnership with The Lincoln Project and Reclaim Your Vote, Seesay2020 is part of an enormous network of lawyers as well as local authorities who will be standing by to deal with irregularities. Hat-tip to activist Susan Farkas for alerting me to this resource that provides an impressive interactive map powered by the same technology used by the Johns Hopkins’ coronavirus tracker.  Pizza to the Polls - Here’s a way to reach out to those standing in seemingly endless lines to cast their votes. Reward their hunger for democracy with a slice of pizza to sustain them all the way to the ballot box. Serving satisfied customers since the 2016 election, in 2018 Pizza to the Polls sent 10,820 pizzas to 611 polling places across 41 states and raised $426,622 from 10,885 donors. Help this grassroots outreach by chipping in a little money and/or by reporting long lines that will translate into a simple act of kindness. Donate:  Top Six Senate Toss-up Races  If you want to split your donation among the 6 Senate candidates, you can donate here via my one-stop shopping linkIf you want to allocate to specific candidatesclick here and follow the “Customize” instructions to give to individual candidates. Bonus Candidate: Jon Ossoff  The fact that both Charlie Cook and Nate Silver now list Georgia as a toss-up on the POTUS front increases the chances Jon Ossoff (GA-Senator) could eke out a win. - Donate Should you want candidate thumbnails plus metrics about the contours of their respective races, click here for the PDF file. Top Ten House Toss-up Races  Here’s the latest: Rep. Abby Finkenauer’s re-election is in jeopardy. Not only has Iowa closed many of its polls because of the spiking Covid infection rate, which is likely to depress turnout, the GOP recently poured $1.3 million into Abby’s opponent’s campaign. Since that windfall, Abby has dropped by 5 points in the polls and every dollar you can give will matter. On a happier note, Amy Kennedy has pulled ahead of her Republican opponent Jeff Van Drew, the former longtime Democrat who voted against Trump’s impeachment last December then switched parties. If you’d love to see Van Drew get his just desserts and take a shellacking in the NJ-02, kick in a few more bucks to Amy’s race. If you want to allocate to specific candidatesclick here and follow the “Customize" instructions to give to individual candidates. If you want to split your contribution between all 10 candidates, you can donate here via my one-stop shopping link. For instance, you can give $100 to be divided evenly among the 5 candidates with each one receiving $20: or, you can choose to allocate and apportion your money any way you like. No amount is too small — donors have given $10 — to $10,000. Your participation is priceless.  Bonus Candidate: Rep. Kendra Horn - Named by “The Election Whisperer” Dr. Rachel Bitecofer as one of the two endangered Democratic incumbents, Horn is locked in a dogfight for re-election. Current polls either have her trailing or within the margin of error. (The other vulnerable candidate — Rep. Joe Cunningham from SC is listed in the Top Ten House Toss-up Races.) Donate to Congresswoman Kendra Horn here

Finally, months ago, I gave my favorite toy of the 2020 political cycle to a friend whose very smart Bernese Mountain dog chewed on it whenever he was overwhelmed by anxiety. Then last week he tore it apart - clearly an omen for next Tuesday. Never forget that this four-year, alternately exhausting and energizing marathon can be distilled into a very simple concept: anger versus empathy. While it’s true that decency, civility and character are all on the ballot, so is our humanity. 

That humanity is exquisitely captured in this soulful video of Joe Biden meeting Corey Hixon, whose father was killed during the mass shooting at Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL two years ago. It moved me to tears. Yes we can. Again. Onward, Jane

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