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Communications Blog

5-27 Week In Review

CBO Score for TrumpCare

We knew the TrumpCare health care bill was bad when Congressional Republicans rammed it through the House of Representatives on a narrow vote three weeks ago. But with the CBO score just released this week, now we know all the facts on the bill.

If TrumpCare becomes law: 

  • Older Americans will pay more, with premiums increasing 20% next year.
  • Individuals with pre-existing conditions will be subject to faulty and expensive high-risk pools.
  • Insurance companies will be able to institute lifetime limits on coverage, even on those with chronic illnesses. 
  • $834 billion in Medicaid cuts included in AHCA that would heavily impact children, the poor and those with disabilities.
  • Planned Parenthood will be defunded, making it more difficult for millions of women to access critical health services.
  • Wealthy Americans receive a huge tax cut.
  • States can opt out of Obamacare’s essential benefits clause, including ER trips, outpatient care, maternity, mental health, prescription drugs, and more.
  • States can opt out of Obamacare’s "community rating" provision that prevents insurers from charging higher rates to sick people.

 

Special Election Wins in NH & NY

Special legislative elections are some of the most important races of 2017 – not only do they give Democrats an opportunity to take our government back from Trump and the Republicans, but they show the momentum and enthusiasm for our progressive agenda. Democrats notched two big wins this week in New Hampshire in New York, flipping two seats from red to blue that had been long-time Republican strongholds:

Democrats running for state legislature in New Hampshire and New York won two seats Tuesday night that had for decades been held by Republicans — victories that national Democrats heralded as a promising sign for a party that lost ground in statehouses across the country during the Obama era.

In both cases, women led the way.

“We’ve been performing well in a lot of districts and keeping swing districts in Democratic hands, but these are the first legislative pickups of anyone since Trump got elected. So we’re really excited,” said Carolyn Fiddler, a spokesperson the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, in an interview. “These are really good indicators of Democratic performance this fall.”

Edie DesMarais, a retired special education instructor, became the first Democrat ever elected in New Hampshire’s town of Wolfeboro, with a narrow 56-vote victory. The first Democrat in 2017 to flip a seat from red to blue, she won a seat for the New Hampshire House in an area that went to Donald Trump by a 51-44 margin, according to the Daily Kos.

Similarly, in New York, high school teacher Christine Pellegrino became the first Democrat to win in her deeply conservative district, which is located along the southern shore of Long Island. Trump won the district by 22 points.

“This is a thunderbolt of resistance,” Pellegrino, 48, told Newsday. “This is for all the supporters and voters who understand a strong progressive agenda is the way forward in New York.”

This is tremendous news – especially since we have some of the most important legislative elections in the country right here in Washington. With five seats up in the state Senate, two of them Democratic incumbents, we have the chance to retake our legislature by electing Manka Dhingra in the 45th LD, Michelle Rylands in the 31st LD, and Karen Hardy in the 7th. The momentum we’re seeing in legislative elections across the country is a great omen for our chances here in Washington – with your help, we can deliver a Democratic Senate and stop the Republican obstruction of progress that has been holding us back for too long.

 

What Happened In Montana

We all know the importance of competing in our special elections, and the special Montana Congressional election was huge news this week. There are some key facts in the race that can inform how we campaign, fight, and win here in Washington.

First, on campaign spending. Campaign spending on this race topped $17M - an eye-popping amount of money on both sides, nearly doubling the most expensive Congressional race in Montana's history. The money flowing into the campaign from independent expenditures, or I.E.s (which can spend unlimited amounts of money), mostly benefited Gianforte. Groups supporting him spent more than $6.3 million, according to FEC records, including $2.4 million from the Congressional Leadership Fund. By contrast, Quist got most of his money from individual donors, but he also benefited from I.E.s including money from Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Both candidates were well-funded, though Gianforte benefited from a large wave of special interest IE money. 

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Second, on votes and turnout. Setting the "Trump effect" aside and comparing the special election to the 2016 Congressional election for the seat shows the importance of turnout. In 2016, Democrat Denise Juneau lost by 15.7% to the GOP incumbent Ryan Zinke, with 74.4% of eligible voters turning out. Juneau got 205,919 votes and Zinke got 285,358. In the 2017 special election, Quist lost by 5.9% but with only a turn out of 54% of eligible voters - Quist had 166,483 votes (as of our last check of the Montana Secretary of State's site) and Gianforte had 189,473. If everyone who voted for Juneau in 2016 had shown up to vote for Quist in 2017, he would have had a huge victory - turnout is essential.

Third, what does that mean for us here in Washington State? IDing, persuading, and turning out voters - the hardest work - is still what ultimately wins elections and turns red areas blue. And it very rarely pays off in one cycle - that’s why the hard work of multi-cycle investment and strict measurements matters. It’s why it is SO CRITICAL that every LD and County participate in the Summer of Canvass - especially in the 45th, 48th, 31st and 7th, plus the LDs and Counties that can lend a hand in those areas now for our 2017 special elections, and to begin that long hard slog towards 2018. If you have NOT signed up for Summer of Canvass yet, please do so - contact Dylan immediately at dylan@wa-democrats.org. Bottom line - we simply won’t win races if we don’t do the work.

 

Memorial Day – A Day to Reflect

This is Memorial Day weekend and we should all take the time to reflect and honor the fallen heroes who have protected our country. This day isn’t just about barbeques and sun – we hope you’ll take some time out to thank the veterans and servicemembers who have done so much for us, and remember and pray for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

 

Sign Up For Our Summer of Canvass

We’ve heard feedback from Democrats across the state - to paint this state blue, Democrats need to talk to more people, not just likely Democrats or people who vote consistently. We need to get back in touch with voters whether they consider themselves Democrats or not, whether they voted last year or not, and understand their top priorities and concerns. And we need to do it at a scale that will help us win competitive races in 2017 and lay the groundwork for 2018.

We heard you and now we’re doing just that. To accomplish this, we will launch a massive, volunteer-led summer canvass to knock on doors across the state, listen to voters' top concerns, and understand what it would take to engage them in our party.

You can sign up to join this effort and help us doorbell across the state here!

 

An Easy Way To Post About Summer of Canvass - Thunderclap!

If you want to help spread the message about Summer of Canvass with your friends and network, an easy way is to join us on Thunderclap! This is a service that helps us blast out a message simultaneously on social media from many Democrats, amplifying our voices and spreading the word about the importance of getting involved. Click here to learn how Thunderclap works and help us spread the word about the Summer of Canvass!

 

Thank you for your support!