The Big Blue Runoff – Georgia 2020

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

By now, you’ve heard the news. Democratic organizers and the people of Georgia have turned the state into a full battleground that Biden currently seems likely to win. And Georgia has not one, but two Senate races. If Democrats win both these races, the Senate will be 50/50, and the tie-breaking vote will likely be Kamala Harris in the Vice-President’s presiding role over the Senate.

People from outside of Georgia have asked me for information on ways they can help, and so I wanted to put a few different ways to help into one place so that people can easily share it. What are some ways you can help?

TL;DR – Show Them The Money

Here are direct links to action if you don’t feel like reading my whole analysis.

Volunteer with the Georgia Democratic Party

Donate to Warnock For Senate
Donate To Ossoff For Senate
Donate to the DPG
Donate to DeKalb Democrats (ATL)
Donate to Fulton Democrats (ATL)
Donate to Gwinnett Democrats (ATL)
Donate to Cobb Democrats (ATL)
Donate to Henry Democrats (ATL)
Donate to Douglas Democrats (ATL)

Candidates

Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock both have put together formidable campaign organizations, and donations to candidates are always appreciated and well received. What do candidate donations go to? Well, one way to think of it is that you’re funding a startup that has one product — a candidate — and one mission — get that candidate into office (or keep them there). There are professionals that know how to run aspects of the marketing campaign, manage the field organization, or keep up with the finances, and those people have to be paid. There is literature to print, ads to run, signs to post. Candidates do not get to use the money for living expenses or anything not directly related to getting their message out.

You can donate up to the Federal limits (currently $2,800) as an individual to a Senate campaign.

Donate to Warnock For Senate
Donate To Ossoff For Senate

Voters and Dates

If you will be 18 years old on Election Day, January 5, 2021, you can register to vote until December 7. If you missed this election, you can still vote in the runoff. If you are not registered to vote, you can register to vote and vote in this runoff. There’s no such thing as too late.

Here are the key dates:

December 7 – Voter Registration Deadline
December 14 – Early Voting opens in Georgia
January 5 – Election Day

County and State Parties

Every state in the Union, including Georgia, has a State Democratic Party. The parties organize volunteers, set the policy platform that the Democrats in that state will advocate for, and get the word out about endorsed candidates. In Georgia, each county has a state party committee which operates as an entire organization with executive leadership, subcommittees, and voting members, that we colloquially refer to as “the county party”.

It’s not commonly understood why the party will endorse some candidates and not others, particularly in races like the one Warnock just went through. The party’s objective is to elect Democrats who support the party’s platform to office and keep them in office. As such, the party must take a neutral stance on any race where there are multiple qualified and declared Democrats. There was several in Warnock’s race due to its nature as a special election. Ossoff went through a traditional primary process and so emerged as the single qualified Democrat, which allowed the party to act on his behalf. While you may see encouragement to vote for a Democrat in a multi-player race, the party was not free to endorse Warnock until he emerged as the leading Democrat and thus the only Democrat entering the runoff.

The county party is where the action is if you are interested in volunteering. I’m going to link several party pages, and each one will have both Donate links and Volunteer links. Unlike the campaigns themselves, the state and county parties have no limits on the donations they can receive. You can give $1,000 or $10,000, or more. What do the parties use that money for? Two words: ground game.

I’m a post seat holder chair (which is a fancy way to say I’m a voting member of my County Committee and am responsible for organizing efforts in my state house district) in DeKalb, a suburban county that contains the eastern bit of the city of Atlanta and several communities of various socioeconomic strata.

I can tell you, when DeKalb Democrats get a dollar, they stretch it. We can create flyers and marketing materials for candidates to help their dollars go further, use our extensive field organization and volunteer base to canvass, phone bank, text bank, or do lit drops door to door. The precinct captains and volunteers can use their deep and personal relationships to get turnout going on an intimate, one-to-one basis. What’s more, county and state party members serve as poll workers, poll observers, and even work to count and judge ballots alongside Republican and non-partisan counters.

You can and should donate to the state party. Donations to the state party support county efforts and statewide initiatives such as voter protection. County donations are used directly in the districts the county covers.

Democratic Party of Georgia
Donate to the DPG

County Links

Here are links to county sites for the Atlanta metro area, where more than half of Georgia’s population lives.


DeKalb County (Atlanta Metro)

Estimated Total Population (2019): 759,297

Biden % in 2020 Election: 83.1%

Donate to DeKalb Democrats

Clayton County (Atlanta Metro)

Estimated Total Population (2019): 292,256

Biden % in 2020 Election: 85.0%

Fulton County (Atlanta Metro)

Estimated Total Population (2019): 1,063,937

Biden % in 2020 Election: 72.6%

Donate to Fulton Democrats

Gwinnett County (Atlanta Metro)

Estimated Total Population (2019): 936,250

Biden % in 2020 Election: 58.4%

Donate to Gwinnett Democrats

Cobb County (Atlanta Metro)

Estimated Total Population (2019): 760,141

Biden % in 2020 Election: 56.3%

Donate to Cobb Democrats

Henry County (Atlanta Metro)

Estimated Total Population (2019): 234,561

Biden % in 2020 Election: 59.7%

Donate to Henry Democrats

Douglas County (Atlanta Metro)

Estimated Total Population (2019): 146,343
Biden % in 2020 Election: 62.0%

Donate to Douglas Democrats


Mobilize

Many activities are also organized through Mobilize, a site that organizers use to publish volunteer opportunities. All the phone banks that the Democratic Party of Georgia and the counties will be putting on will be listed here. You can use the filter button to put in a Georgia ZIP code and find opportunities to phonebank, text bank, or if you live close enough, to get into the field.

I encourage you to donate to the candidates and if you have more money or time you wish to give, please give it to the counties. I know DeKalb firsthand and I know my county will steward your resources well and turn out more Democrats for the coming runoff.

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