The news just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it? Here are four simple tactics you can use to maintain volunteer energy and morale:
Self-Care: Maintain your own morale. Volunteers will take their emotional cues from you. (Here‘s a self-care refresher.)
Choice: To the extent possible, give your volunteers choices on what they work so they can choose tasks that interest them. Extroverts will be energized by canvassing. Introverts may actually like data entry.
Expectations: If you know that volunteers will get a less-than-optimal response from an outreach activity (low voter interest, engaging with opponents), let them know in advance. Also frame these potentially unpleasant interactions in positive ways, such as “building a new base” or “finding new supporters.” They will then be emotionally “vaccinated” for less-than-optimal interactions.
Community: Make sure every volunteer activity has some positive social aspect fully controlled by you, such as going out for coffee or a beer after canvassing. This social time gives volunteers a positive experience of connection and processing regardless of their interaction with persuasion targets.
The media has dubbed this election the “pink wave,” and has written reamsofstories about how female candidates are running and winning across the country.
While this is great, it doesn’t leave much room for nuance. Women, despite being of the same gender, are extremely diverse, as the candidates from yesterday’s eight-state primary show. Here are some of their stories.
PS: Not all women have vaginas, but I believe these women do.
The news from yesterday’s primary in Georgia goes much deeper than Stacey Abrams’ win. It’s also about her dominance of candidates from both parties, including the more “viable” Democratic pick and the anti-immigrant candidates on the Republican right.
The final results are a very hopeful sign for the South, and for November.
The primary train moves on, yesterday to Idaho, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Oregon.
Two stories to emerge on the Democratic side are that yes, there was evidence of huge enthusiasm (the eponymous #BlueWave), but Dem primary voters are also not too keen on the sensible, could-win-the-general, more right-leaning candidates their party is supporting.
On the left and right, primary voters are polarized, a longterm trend that seems particularly stark this cycle.