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In the wake of a tropical storm, voters in Hawai’i went to the polls to choose between MoveOn-endorsed Sen. Brian Schatz—an Elizabeth Warren-style progressive—and his challenger, Colleen Hanabusa. But as of this morning, the race was too close to call. Sen. Schatz is ahead, right now, by just 1,635 votes out of more than 200,000 cast.1 And because the storm delayed about 8,000 voters from casting ballots, the race is being extended to give them a chance to mail in their votes.
MoveOn members in Hawai’i have been working their hearts out on this campaign. Over the past two weeks alone, MoveOn volunteers made over 23,665 calls reminding people to vote for Sen. Schatz. We’ve used voting data and polling to determine which Hawai’i voters were least likely to vote in this special election—voters such as young people who voted two years ago in the presidential election but were likely to skip voting this time—and focused on them. MoveOn members’ calls may well have secured the margin of Sen. Schatz’s lead so far.
MoveOn members’ grassroots election work is a huge deal for Hawai’i—and this close race is a reminder of how important our work will be in other states in November. Please take a look at some photos from the MoveOn for Schatz office in Honolulu, and then pitch in to fund MoveOn’s work to finish the job in Hawai’i and elect progressive candidates all across the country this fall:
MoveOn members across Hawai’i overwhelmingly endorsed Sen. Schatz for his early leadership in support of expanding Social Security. And in his election-night speech late last night, Sen. Brian Schatz thanked the 39,000 MoveOn.org members across Hawai’i and “everybody who cares about protecting and enhancing Social Security” for all the support.2
But the stakes of our effort in Hawai’i are about more than just one primary. We’re also looking at this race as a dry run for the general election. For Democrats to hold the Senate in November, it’s going to take exactly the kind of voter turnout effort we’re honing right now in Hawai’i.
In the next few weeks, we’re planning to open at least four offices in major cities around the country. Our strategy is based on a core truth: if everyone showed up to vote, we’d win every time. Can you pitch in to fund MoveOn’s work to turn out progressive voters and elect progressive candidates all across the country this fall?
Together we’re showing that progressives and voters will get the backs of champions who fight against income inequality and for other core progressive values. And this fall, we’ll build on our efforts in Hawai’i to Save the Senate from a right-wing takeover.
1. “Schatz, Hanabusa refuse to concede in deadlocked race,” Honolulu Star Advertiser, August 10, 2014
2. “Brian Schatz addresses supporters,” KHON2 News, August 9, 2014