Op-Ed: All the Democrats in Wednesday's debate are electable. But who has the ground game?

Who's the most electable? Candidates and pundits are going to argue that question on Wednesday, during the fifth Democratic debate—but they aren't the ones who will answer it. Voters will.

All 10 Democrats on stage in Atlanta have the background, experience and ideas necessary to defeat Donald Trump. This election, however, won't come down to who sounds best on stage. It will be decided on the ground by the side that runs the most robust field program.

PCCC on House Passing Republican Tax Plan

“What a brilliant Republican strategy to lose the House in 2018. First, slash Medicare benefits and public education and eliminate tax breaks for people with disabilities, students, and veterans. Then, force working families to pick up the tab for massive tax cuts for giant corporations and super-rich guys like Donald Trump.

“The PCCC will make sure there is real political accountability back home for every member of Congress who voted yes today. We’ll also be mobilizing our 1 million members to stop the Senate’s version of this bill, which is a stealth attempt to steal healthcare away from 13 million people. Republicans are delusional if they think this vote won’t haunt them in 2018.” -- Kait Sweeney, press secretary, Progressive Change Campaign Committee

PCCC: Progressives Drove Turnout In Swing Districts To Achieve Major Dem Victory -- Including Gov Win!

"Progressives propelled tonight’s historic victory in Virginia by driving turnout up and down the ballot in swing districts for a wave of inspiring candidates: Danica Roem (VA-HD-13); Justin Fairfax (VA Lt.Gov); Elizabeth Guzman (VA-HD-31); David Reid (VA-HD-32); Schuyler VanValkenburg (VA-HD-72); Jennifer Carroll Foy (VA-HD-02); Kathy Tran (VA-HD-42); Lee Carter (VA-HD-50); and Wendy Gooditis (VA-HD-10).

The strength of the Resistance is at tidal wave proportions! In legislative races, inspiring people decided to run for office as their act of Resistance and ran on issues like expanding Medicaid and increasing investment in jobs and public education. They drove turnout and flipped red seats blue -- a lesson for the types of candidates we need in 2018.

“These progressive candidates flipped districts that hadn’t been competitive for years by focusing on the economic issues that matter most to working families. Progressives are proving that the way to win a Democratic Congress in 2018 is to field inspiring and diverse candidates who connect with voters on bold, popular ideas like expanding Medicare and higher wages for workers.”

PCCC on Revelations That Contract Forced DNC To Get One Campaign's Approval During Primary

"When it comes to fostering trust in the DNC, the entire ballgame is the Unity Reform Commission's forthcoming proposals and whether they are strong and adopted by DNC leadership. Those proposals should include dramatically scaling back the role of unelected Super Delegates in skewing the nomination process, making primaries open to more people, making caucuses less time consuming for working families, and mandating more DNC budget transparency and oversight. After recent news, reforms should also include barring Joint Fundraising Agreements that give an advantage to one candidate over another during a primary -- and addressing the conflicts of interest that arise when the DNC and presidential campaigns use the same law firm."​ -- Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee

PCCC on Manafort Indictment

“The president has still not made clear how Paul Manafort, a highly-paid foreign agent, ended up managing the Trump presidential campaign -- especially since they didn't know one another beforehand. What is known is that the president has consistently engaged in corruption and surrounded himself with corrupt aides in his businesses, campaign, and the White House.

“Republicans in Congress have made clear that they put tax cuts for millionaires and giant corporations ahead of any accountability for Trump and his administration -- and will not act on even the most outright scandals. The only way to have any accountability is for Democrats to take back the House and Senate -- and the best way to do that is to field authentic candidates who campaign on inspiring ideas like Medicare for All and higher wages for workers while promising to restore accountability and fight foreign and corporate influence on our government.” -- The Progressive Change Campaign Committee

PCCC on Flake Retirement & Newly-Open 2018 AZ-Sen Seat

“Jeff Flake sees the writing on the wall. Arizona voters are sick and tired of the Republican Party’s broken agenda that gives massive tax cuts to big corporations and the rich while slashing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

“This seat will be a huge opportunity for Democrats if they run an inspiring candidate with a bold progressive, populist message on issues like Medicare for All and high wages for workers. Arizonans aren’t looking for a milquetoast Blue Dog that runs as a Republican.” -- Kait Sweeney, press secretary, Progressive Change Campaign Committee

The PCCC ran multiple ads on TV, in print, and online, urging Sen. Jeff Flake to oppose Trump’s agenda and helping Arizonans hold him accountable. Topics included opposing the appointment of Steve Bannon, opposing the appointment of Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary, opposing the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and opposing cuts to Medicaid during the Republicans’ repeated attempts to repeal Obamacare. Sen. Flake bent to Trump’s will every time.

PCCC: NRA & Republicans Feel Grassroots Pressure, Answer With Empty Lip Service

“The NRA, gun manufacturers, and the NRA’s Republican allies are feeling the pressure from PCCC and the progressive grassroots, but their call for banning bump stocks is empty lip service. For far too long the NRA has crushed common-sense gun reform under a mountain of dirty campaign money. Enough is enough.

“We’re proud to fight back with leaders like Elizabeth Warren who are calling for bold new gun laws like a ban on high-capacity clips and assault weapons -- and will take this issue to voters in 2017 and 2018. The PCCC will continue to fundraise for Democrats who lead on this issue -- rewarding leadership and incentivizing more leaders to stand against the NRA.” -- Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee

The PCCC has raised over $125,000 (and growing!) from small-dollar donations for 65 political leaders standing up to the NRA. This fundraising is for members of Congress and candidates for Congress, Governor, state/local races, and possibly president, including: Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Chris Murphy, Representatives Ruben Gallego, Mark Pocan, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Pramila Jayapal, Governor candidates Stacey Abrams (GA) and Cathy Glasson (IA), candidates for Congress Katie Porter (CA-45), Andy Kim (NJ-3), Randy Bryce (running against Paul Ryan in WI-1), and Jess King (PA-16), and NJ/VA 2017 legislative candidates. Full list here.

PCCC on Dem health care strategy with demise of Graham-Cassidy

"With the repeal of Obamacare dead for now, progressives are pivoting to offense -- rallying around Medicare for All as a political strategy for 2018 and 2020. Every American deserves quality, affordable healthcare and freedom from a broken health insurance system that profits from denying care. Medicare for All is good politics and good policy.” -- Stephanie Taylor, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee

The PCCC has been working with Sanders' office, other Senate offices, and ally groups for months on Medicare for All. The PCCC has been organizing our members around a petition supporting Medicare for All, which has already received tens of thousands of signatures.

The PCCC ran our emotionally-compelling tv ad in Maine, Arizona, Alaska, Nevada, West Virginia, and DC, urging Sens. Collins, McCain, Flake, Murkowski, Heller, and Capito to vote no on Graham-Cassidy. As reported by Politico and AP, the ad buy began last Friday before McCain or Collins announced their opposition under pressure.

PCCC: Bernie Bill Is "Product Launch" Of Medicare For All 2018/2020 Strategy. Dems "Wrapping Themselves In The Flag Of Medicare For All."

"Today is the product launch of Medicare For All as a message that Democrats will rally around through the 2018 and 2020 elections. When people as credible as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand call for Medicare For all, it's clear that's the future direction of the party.

"This is how big ideas like expanding Social Security and debt-free college were moved into the mainstream -- the North Star gets put up, solid organizing is done, critical mass is built in Congress and on the campaign trail, and party consensus falls into place. It's happening now. Democrats are increasingly wrapping themselves in the flag of Medicare For All.

"There are multiple ways to achieve Medicare For All, including Bernie's bill and other ideas like a Medicare Option For All -- and they are mutually reinforcing. It's hard to imagine a better way to make the case for Medicare For All than to give every American the ability to voluntarily buy insurance through Medicare, have millions of people opt in and love it, and tell their friends about it -- resulting in millions more people opting in. This is how we defeat right-wing scare tactics, win hearts and minds over time, and put Republicans on defense as they oppose expanding to every American one of the most popular programs in existence."

-- Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has been working with Sanders' office, other Senate offices, and ally groups for months in preparation for today's rollout. The PCCC has been organizing our members around a petition supporting Medicare for All, which has already received tens of thousands of signatures.

PCCC: Trump Has No Moral Authority; Must Fire White Supremacists Miller, Gorka, Others

“Donald Trump fanned the flames tonight by doubling down on divisive, racist rhetoric and refusing to denounce the white supremacists within his own White House. Trump proved once and for all that he doesn’t have the moral authority to lead this country. The PCCC expanded our TV ad into Arizona so local voters hear the truth -- that Trump refuses to fire Sebastian Gorka, Stephen Miller, and other white supremacists from the White House. PCCC members in Phoenix are protesting against white supremacy outside Trump’s rally." -- Kait Sweeney, press secretary, Progressive Change Campaign Committee

PCCC: America will hold Republicans Accountable for Immoral Healthcare Vote

“The American people are being held hostage by the Republican Party and lives are literally at stake. Let's be clear, Republicans are bickering over just how many people they should rob of their healthcare in order to pay for billions in tax cuts for their rich buddies.

“Progressives will fight this bill with everything we have -- and hold accountable spineless vulnerable 2018 Republicans like Sens. Heller, Flake, and Cruz who voted against their own constituents. We won't stop until everyone has quality, affordable healthcare -- and are no longer at the mercy of private insurance companies that profit by denying care." -- Kait Sweeney, press secretary, Progressive Change Campaign Committee


“The fact that Democrats turned ruby-red districts in Georgia, South Carolina, Montana, and Kansas that House Republicans traditionally won by 20 points into competitive races shows that the Resistance is strong -- and Democrats are well positioned to win the House in 2018 and should contest every district."

“The best way for Democrats to maximize gains in 2018 -- especially in purple and red districts -- is to harness the power of the Resistance and field candidates who proudly challenge power on behalf of the little guy.” -- Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee

Progressives: Trump's Radical Privatization Plan Will Hurt American Consumers & Workers

"Donald Trump wants to sell off our roads, bridges, and other public assets to foreign corporations and his Wall Street billionaire friends -- allowing them to hit Americans with new tolls and put our money in their pockets. Privatizing air traffic controllers -- paid for by hiking user fees on American consumers -- is just the first step in this direction.

“Democrats are fighting to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges -- and investing in 21st Century clean energy jobs.

"The Millions Of Jobs Coalition is running a grassroots campaign nationally and in local communities, making the case for public investment in millions of new jobs. Within 24 hours, over 30 members of Congress signed onto the resolution making clear Democratic principles for job creation and against selling off our public roads and bridges. We will stop Trump's attempt to privative our roads, put up new tolls and user fees, and give our money to his Wall Street billionaire friends and foreign investors."

-- Millions Of Jobs Coalition, which is composed of labor, environmental, racial justice, and other progressive groups representing millions of people. The coalition just launched a massive campaign aimed at contrasting a bold Democratic vision of creating millions of new jobs with Trump's policy of corporate giveaways and selling off public assets. The Millions of Jobs Coalition includes the Communications Workers of America, Center for Popular Democracy, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, ColorOfChange, Sierra Club, Working Families Party, MoveOn.org, NextGen Climate, 350 Action, Roosevelt Institute, Demos Action, Food & Water Watch, PICO, and others.

Trump Putting American Jobs At Risk With Paris Decision

“Just as Trump does the bidding of Big Oil by pulling America out of the Paris Agreement and away from clean-energy jobs of the future, Trump will continue to undermine clean-energy jobs with his so-called infrastructure plan that gives huge handouts to his Wall Street billionaire buddies at the expense of investing in clean-energy jobs.

“The grassroots Resistance and Congressional Democrats are fighting together to create millions of jobs by investing in clean-energy infrastructure like wind and solar and make America the leader in the future global economy.”

-- Millions of Jobs Coalition, over a dozen grassroots organizations representing millions of Americans who launched a massive campaign last week aimed at contrasting a bold Democratic vision of creating millions of new jobs with Trump's policy of privatization and corporate giveaways.

PCCC On New "We Will Replace You" PAC Formed By Others To Primary Democrats

“Over the years, there has been strong engagement in open-seat Democratic primaries that pit progressive newcomers against establishment newcomers. Progressives have won big open-seat primary victories, ranging from Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 7-way race in 2012 to Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Nanette Barrigan, and Jamie Raskin winning in 2016.

"The energy is extremely high right now for ensuring that current Democratic office holders fight Trump with strength -- and ideally there would be no need for primaries against incumbents because Democrats in office will fight Trump so boldly, consistently, and effectively.

"But to be clear: Democratic politicians in red states who fail to fight strongly against Trump and seize the mantle of economic populism won't inspire people to vote -- and they will lose the general election in 2018.

"Outside organizing is helping Democrats find their voice more quickly. More outside organizing is better for the Democratic Party and the democratic process." -- Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee

A PCCC-commissioned poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found that Democratic and Independent voters in 2018 Senate battleground states believe the Democratic Party is fighting more for special interests while Trump is fighting for working families -- a perception that Democrats must counter in order to take back Congress in 2018.
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