Bernie Sanders is one of the most unique presidential candidates in modern American politics. He’s an atheist, Jewish, socialist Senator who is not a member of a political party. A candidate this unique needs a campaign that is similarly sui generis. At ElectingBernieSanders.net I am going to discuss what unique advantages Bernie has, how he can use them to win, and what electoral strategy his campaign should pursue. I will also discuss a lot of other things related to his presidential campaign. I’ll address a few things at a high level in this post.
Bernie Sanders is a candidate who promises to govern in a new way and to pursue policy that no person who has been elected president has pursued. For this reason he needs to campaign in a way no one else has campaigned. I’ll cover all the major things Bernie can do to boost his campaign in a series of posts following this but I’ll go through a brief outline now.
The first thing Bernie should do is build on his 1 million volunteer success by requesting that each person send 3-7$, if possible, as a donation to the campaign. Not only do small donations add up when you are talking about 1 million people but he could release the results of the request to prove that he has 1 million unique volunteers, including over 324,000 new people not involved in 2016, and that they will take actions more significant than signing a pledge online to support him. If he has a way to verify that volunteer total that is massive. For instance 1 million people knocking on a single door list each is potentially 50 million door knocks. No Democratic primary has had more than 40 million voters.
Bernie has already begun what I had planned to have as a major effort to improve his campaign. He has hired one of the most diverse high level campaign staffs ever, including co-chairs. So we’ll skip all the arguments about that. Of course it would be ideal if he kept this up and even expanded it to the lower tiers.
A major aspect of a successful Sanders campaign would be to create a unified online organizing hub with modern features and social media integration. Social media is great for outreach, but very limiting for organizing. A proper tiered system of organizing handling multiple levels of interaction and commitment would be a huge boost to any online focused campaign, especially one to the scale of Bernie’s. Social media for outreach, Slack/Discord for the lowest level of organizing, and then follow that up with 2 or 3 more levels of commitment topped by campaign staff at the highest level. The post on this will be pretty huge so buckle in for that.
The next major step Bernie needs to take involves both showing a commitment to all of the constituencies of the Democrats, demonstrating commitment on climate change, and getting a progressive Congress willing and able to pass his sweeping legislative agenda. Did I not go over his sweeping agenda yet? A later post then. Bernie needs to field a slate of young female and/or minority candidates in the 70 House seats that Democrats lost by 10% or less in 2018. In a world where Bernie could become the nominee, we could expect a minimum of 40 of those seats to flip while keeping all the party’s existing seats. There are only 435 House seats, ending a repeal of the law that capped them at that number. Far less than half of the existing House members deserve to be there. There are far more people, even when excluding straight, white men, who are more qualified and more deserving than the median Democratic member, much less the median House member overall. Pushing for a more diverse legislature would not lower the quality in any way.
Following this is Bernie campaigning on a massive election reform effort including opening up the number of House seats, passing local, state, and Congressional ranked choice voting, or another form of voting superior to first past the post, and working towards amendments or a convention to institute modern Democratic reforms like multi member districts, national, probably party list, based constituencies, and other significant legislation.
The most significant factor in Bernie winning after having a serious online hub is campaign strategy. The campaign left hundreds of delegates on the table in 2016 because they opened offices in states with a week or two weeks to go until the primary there. This was partially necessary, Bernie had a ton of work to do in early states and for fundraising. Not this time. Bernie is the frontrunner, he has the most cast and donors, the most volunteers, and he is competing against an unruly herd of opponents with limited money and resources. A 50 State Strategy is just as critical for a serious candidate in the primary as it is in the general. No excuses.
There are many more minor but no less important changes Bernie must engage with but we’ll cover those under the post about his potential legislative agenda. I’ll be trying to write a couple posts every day, with a minimum of one, from now on. The next two days should allow for ~10 more posts on various topics. Feel The Bern.