By: Paul Blumenthal
The next big test of the activist energy within the Democratic Party will be the special election to replace Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. Already, the leading Democratic candidate is receiving unprecedented grassroots support.
That candidate, 30-year-old former congressional staffer Jon Ossoff, has already raised more than $1 million from the liberal online website Daily Kos. That’s the most the 15-year-old online community has ever raised for a single candidate. So far, 59,000 donors connected to Daily Kos have donated to Ossoff’s campaign.
“We can scarcely describe how intense the Daily Kos community’s support for Jon Ossoff has been,” Daily Kos political director David Nir said in an email. “It’s literally unprecedented. In the first week after we endorsed him, our members gave more to Ossoff than they gave to our previous record-holder over an entire cycle — and that was Elizabeth Warren. What’s more, the pace hasn’t slackened at all. It’s only intensified, as Trump’s perpetual outrage machine keeps fueling people to contribute more and more. And it’s only going to escalate as we get closer to the election.”
Activists have poured into their local Democratic Party headquarters across the country looking for some way to direct their anger at President Donald Trump’s policies and, for many of them, to act on the positive energy that came out of the nationwide women’s marches attended by millions on Jan. 21. These activists have already helped push Democratic candidates in special elections in Delaware and Connecticut to perform far better than probably they would have in ordinary conditions.
Ossoff has also received just over $63,000 in donations through Flippable and $150,000 from small donors connected to the pro-campaign finance reform group End Citizens United. In addition, 3,500 Georgians have signed up to volunteer for Ossoff’s campaign. To take advantage of this grassroots energy on the ground, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is deploying nine staffers to the Georgia Democratic Party to help with turnout.