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Onward! Democratic Wins In Key Districts Is First Step Towards Winning Back The House

Courage Campaign Celebrates as Democrats Advance from Top Two Primaries in GOP-Held Congressional Districts

Courage Campaign-Backed Assembly, State Senate Candidates Also Advance

Statement from Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the California-based Courage Campaign, the largest progressive organization in the State:

“Last night, the wave that will lead to a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives started in California. The results show that Democrats know what is at stake this election and will turn out. With nine or more Republican districts in California now in play, California counts now more than ever. Onward to November and taking back this country for all people, not just wealthy few.

“Now more than ever, California also needs strong, bold, and progressive leadership in Sacramento that will stand up for all. Courage Campaign endorsed Bauer-Kahan, Eng, Gover, and Silver — a diverse group of true progressive champions — and exactly the kind of leaders we need more of in Sacramento. We applaud them on their primary night victories and look forward to supporting them in November.”

This primary election cycle, Courage Campaign:

  • Partnered with Flip the 14 to run an active field and digital campaign to turn out enough Democrats via to defeat Republican members in Congress and avoid a Top Two primary disaster. The groups targeted three critical Congressional districts–CD 39, 48, and 49–most at risk for a “Top Two disaster” and helped to ensure a Democrat made it through to November by recruiting over 800 volunteers to make 8,000 calls and send 100,000 peer-to-peer text messages, with a special focus on newly registered voters, voters who often skip the midterm elections, and voters who are women of color.

  • Teamed up with the Orange County-based Women for American Values and Ethics (WAVE) for a five-figure effort, and reached 170,000 women, people of color and infrequent Democratic voters in CD 39, 48, and 49 using targeted video ads on Facebook. Courage Campaign told the story of Yolanda Wight, a citizen of California’s 48th Congressional district, to highlight the important role that California voters play in the 2018 election. Among the smartest national political players who took notice was renowned pollster Celinda Lake who “loves” the #CaliforniaCounts campaign.

  • Launched the #CaliforniaCounts initiative, #CaliforniaCounts, a campaign to take back the House of Representatives by flipping key seats in California, particularly in the seven districts that are represented by Republicans but voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. #CaliforniaCounts aims to turn out key voters by leveraging the latest cognitive research into how voters make decisions. The campaign emphasizes emotionally resonant storytelling and highlight real Californians, real California values, and the historic role that California will play in the 2018 election.

  • Courage Campaign leveraged #CaliforniaCounts by engaging celebrity contacts in the days leading up to the election. The initiative was shared by celebrities and activists Chris Evans, Alyssa Milano, Misha Collins, Kamau Bell, John Leguizamo, and many others. #CaliforniaCounts was soon trending on Twitter, and in the end, the hashtag was used 40,125 times. Additionally, Courage Campaign’s “find your polling place” text code was used nearly 7,000 times.

  • Earlier this year, Courage Campaign launched its third annual progressive report card, Courage Score, which indicates whether state legislators voted as progressively as their districts have on a range of core progressive issues. Those with the  scores most out of step with their districts get put in the “Hall of Shame.”

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Courage California, formerly Courage Campaign, works to unite communities organizing for progressive change, fight the forces of corruption, and hold our representatives to account in order to ensure that California’s elected officials act with courage. Our community of members envision California as a model of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy that sets the standard for our country.


Angela Chavez