Election 2018 – How I accidentally became a “bundler”

The most recent blog post here was me talking about a little ActBlue page I had set up to make it easier to donate to a number of critical House of Representatives races all at once – the “Tossup Twenty”.  I primarily built it as a way of making it easier for me to donate to these campaigns – sharing it with others was an afterthought.

Why?  I believe that Republicans need to get kicked out of Congress for gross incompetence.  They tried to destroy the healthcare system for tens of millions of Americans with no plan to address it.  In the height of an economic boom, they passed a tax cut that will cost the economy trillions… completely backwards to how governments should work.  (cut taxes in hard times to grow, increase taxes in good times to build reserves)

So I built the “Tossup Twenty” page, and shared it twice each on Twitter and Facebook – not expecting much to come out of it.  But lo and behold, anyone can become a bundler!  Using the page I set up I ended up raising $8358 from ~30 people.  Except for one person, I’d never met or talked to anyone that donated via my page.

What I’ve learned from this is twofold:

  1. there’s value in making your own judgments and helping people make a bigger (or more specific) impact.  I think it was useful for others to quickly donate to a bunch of close races, but aggregating which ones wasn’t easy.
  2. people will donate even without any connection.  I had assumed this page would be a personal tool since I didn’t know many people that would donate to a page that hadn’t tried to specifically sell them.  I was wrong!

I now have a benchmark and plan to do a lot more in the runup to the 2020 elections.  And I hope to get some data on the costs of running races in various districts (based on media markets) to help make even more careful choices.

For posterity, here are all the candidates in the “Tossup Twenty” – I’ll be updating how their races turn out, so be sure to check back!

Candidate (District) Election Eve – 538 Likelihood Result?
Dean Phillips (MN-03) 85% WIN!
Katie Porter (CA-45) 83% WIN!
Tom Malinowski (NJ-07) 78% WIN!
Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) 67% WIN!
Kim Schrier (WA-08) 67% WIN!
Jared Golden (ME-02) 64% WIN!
Paul Davis (KS-02) 62% lost
Antonio Delgado (NY-19) 61% WIN!
Gil Cisneros (CA-39) 58% WIN!
Dan Feehan (MN-01) 56% lost
Andy Kim (NJ-03) 55% WIN!
Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) 52% WIN!
Dan McCready (NC-09) 47% TBD – crazy (!)
Leslie Cockburn (VA-05) 46% lost
Amy McGrath (KY-06) 46% lost
Kara Eastman (NE-02) 42% lost
Danny O’Connor (OH-12) 35% lost
Brendan Kelly (IL-12) 28% lost
Aftab Pureval (OH-01) 20% lost
Joe Radinovich (MN-08) 19% lost

On an end note (for the record) there are a few other races I particularly care about:

Michigan Secretary of State – Jocelyn Benson is the only choice in this race.  She’s super-qualified, having literally written the book on the job of Secretary of State.  Also – she’s a marathoner and competed in the Boston Marathon while 8 months pregnant — can you say “badass”? — SHE WON!

Minnesota Attorney General – Keith Ellison has to be the choice in this race.  Yes, there are allegations about him that shouldn’t be brushed aside.  But his opponent – Doug Wardlow – is an a**hole.  I was in school with him for years, and he’s always been an a**hole.  He would be a travesty for justice in the state of Minnesota. — HE WON!

Texas Senate – Beto O’Rourke.  If Beto loses, I hope he runs for President in 2020 because he has a way of communicating issues that really resonates with me, and those messages need to be heard as the Democrats nominate a Presidential candidate in 2020.  I don’t have a view on if he could or should win the nomination — but what he says and how he says it would be invaluable to the rest of the field.  (Also, he’s running against Ted Cruz and I love the Al Franken line: “Here’s the thing you have to understand about Ted Cruz.  I like Ted Cruz more than most of my other colleagues like Ted Cruz. And I hate Ted Cruz.”) — he lost