Way to Win

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Way to Win is committed to building the power of our base: women, people of color, Indigenous people, LGBTQ+ people, and young people. This multiracial coalition is key to winning, and Republicans know it. Thus, they weaponize race to consolidate their power among white voters. Meanwhile, Democrats fall into the trap of focusing on “electability” — which is code for appealing to white swing voters. This language papers over an implicit bias and it covers over the untapped power of the Democratic base.

We believe that with the right policies, narratives, and campaign strategies, a multiracial fusion coalition can carry the best person to office. This coalition is looking for candidates who will reflect and represent their concerns, candidates who have bold visions to solve big problems. This coalition wants a candidate who speaks to the possibility of an America that is just, democratic, and free from the domination of corporate control. This coalition wants a candidate who is willing to take a stand for what they believe in.

We've developed this Presidential Playbook in collaboration with some of the best movement leaders and political strategists in the country to create a lens through which we can examine every candidate, based on how they’re running their campaign and what they stand for, rather than succumbing to the vague language of “electability.” By defining criteria through questions, this Playbook can be a practical guide and aid in evaluating which candidates will see themselves as accountable to the true base. These questions, organized by the signals of success we’ve seen in campaigns over the course of the last several cycles, will change the direction of politics in America – if we use them. We need the candidates to hear from us at every turn. When you meet with candidates, participate in endorsements, or make funding decisions, we ask you to lift up these questions. Working together, our coalition can help ensure the person elected to office is reflective of, and held accountable to, these values.

Join us in using the presidential primary to shift the conversation and build long-term power for a progressive future.[1]

Co-Founders

Staff

"Presidential Playbook"

Playbook Co-Authors + Champions

Signatories listed in the order received. Last updated April 22, 2019.

Title and organization are listed for identification purposes only. The views expressed in this Presidential Playbook belong solely to the signatories, and not necessarily to the signatories’ employers or organizations.

SIGNALS OF SUCCESS

How we know we’re winning

What sets us apart from our competitors: we are clear in defining our goals, we are transparent in the allocation of resources and the accounting of what they aim to accomplish, and we know that traditional granular metrics (e.g. number of people registered to vote per day) do not capture bigger power shifts. We move real resources in real time, and we have won campaigns in the South and Southwest region. This experience gives us unparalleled trust from leaders on the ground and donors supporting the strategy. Below, you’ll find our Signals of Success: new metrics that help us measure true winning.

SHIFT MONEY TO THE GROUND

Way to Win will invest in and track the number of donors participating in the Way to Win model, creating a culture of transparency in political giving to one another and the organizations leading the work to ensure there are sufficient resources to win and govern. Way to Win will diligently track other political giving to monitor whether our model is impacting other investors.

REMOVE BARRIERS TO DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

Way to Win will invest in and track the number of voters whose voting rights have been restored and enhanced, shifting the responsibility of voter registration into scaled, modern government programs, away from the private sector engaged in card collection. Efforts to register one voter at a time will not build power alone. We will instead invest in bold efforts that expand voting rights and enfranchise voters to consolidate our majority at the ballot box.

BASE TURNOUT IS INCREASED

Way to Win will invest in and track the rise in raw votes and vote share of the progressive base to determine whether we are on the path to winning electoral power our target states. We know how many new votes we need for 2020 and how 2017, 2018, and 2019 will help us get there. Our efforts will build on years of successful organizing and electoral victories in 2016 that we will replicate in 2018.


DELIVER ON RACIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE IN CITIES AND STATES

Voters must start feeling the benefits of electing progressive leadership in their daily lives. Way to Win will invest in and track the financial impact of policy change that make lives better by increasing economic stability and mobility, and the numbers of people who benefit from these policies. Strong independent political organizations will build the power necessary to hold elected officials accountable and help them govern from a position of strength.


CLARIFY AND SHIFT NARRATIVES

The first step in delivering on the racial and economic justice agenda diverse communities need to thrive is how candidates campaign: what they say, and who they say it to. We both track these messages, and provide groups serving our communities the resources to tell their own stories, both during campaigns and after, in holding elected representatives accountable.

REFLECTIVE DEMOCRACY WINS

We will rigorously track the number of candidates who reflect our values and our communities’ priorities and histories. Our base needs to do more than turnout—we need to lead. We will invest in their leadership as candidates, organizers, and strategists in 2018. We know reflective leaders hold the winning formula because of their performance in 2016 and 2017.[4]

References