Democracy for America launches 2016 Presidential Primary Endorsement Vote

Burlington, VT – This morning, Democracy for America (DFA) launched its 2016 Presidential Primary Endorsement Vote.  The endorsement vote gives the national progressive political action committee’s members the opportunity to decide if the PAC will support Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders, or make no endorsement in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

Key details about the DFA Presidential Primary Endorsement Vote:

  • Voting will take place at 2016.DemocracyForAmerica.com
  • The options on the endorsement ballot include: Sec. Hillary Clinton, Former Gov. Martin O’Malley, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and “Don’t Endorse.”  
  • In order to receive DFA’s endorsement, a single candidate must secure a supermajority (66.67% or more) of the votes cast.
  • All progressives are encouraged to cast a ballot in DFA’s endorsement vote.  Individuals can cast their vote -- and change their mind -- as many times as they like over the course of the voting period, but only their most recent vote will count.
  • DFA members will be able to follow discussion of the endorsement vote via DFA's hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere: #DFA2016vote.
  • Voting will begin on Monday, December 7, 2015 and end at 11:59pm ET on Tuesday, December 15.
  • Results will be announced -- following a complete security review of the votes -- at 12pm ET on Thursday, December 17.

If members vote to endorse, this would be DFA’s first endorsement in a presidential primary (no candidate was able to clear the supermajority threshold during a member endorsementvote prior to the 2008 election). DFA will run a 100% positive campaign in support of any endorsed candidate and --  regardless of any endorsement decision --  DFA will be supporting the Democratic nominee for president in the 2016 general election.

DFA’s endorsement brings with it a million person-strong grassroots army that has knocked hundreds of thousands of doors, made over 11 million phone calls, and raised and contributed more than $32.7 million to help elect 843 progressive candidates nationwide.

Statement from Democracy for America Executive Director Charles Chamberlain on today’s announcement:

“After spending the last two years making certain that the battle against income inequality was a defining issue of the 2016 race and seeing every single Democratic candidate respond by putting the issue at the front and center of their campaign, now is the right time to see if Democracy for America’s grassroots members have reached a consensus on the candidate we should support.

“DFA was founded on the firm belief that the Democratic Party is stronger when it listens to and invests in the organizing of its grassroots, progressive base.  Our open presidential endorsement process is specifically designed to reflect our time-tested faith in the progressive movement’s grassroots wisdom, energy, and enthusiasm.  We could not be more excited to see what it reveals.”  -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America

The full email DFA’s Chamberlain sent to DFA members this morning announcing the launch of the endorsement voting period is available below.

DFA’s endorsement vote is not the first time DFA has engaged in the 2016 presidential primary.  In December 2014, DFA became one of the leading progressive organizations behind the Run Warren Run campaign, a national grassroots effort dedicated to encouraging Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for President.  

While DFA and its allies at MoveOn.org suspended the campaign in June 2015, the effort played a critical role in ensuring the battle against income inequality and in support of Warren Wing populist progressive priorities like debt-free college, Social Security expansion, and Wall Street accountability have remained at the top of the agenda for all the Democrats running for president.

ENDORSEMENT VOTE ANNOUNCEMENT EMAIL

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America
Subject: VOTE NOW: DFA's 2016 presidential endorsement is in your hands

DFA Member --

Democracy for America has a HUGE announcement.

Starting today, you -- and other DFA members nationwide -- have the opportunity to decide if our people-powered organization will make an endorsement in the Democratic Party presidential primary race.

This endorsement decision is entirely in your hands and VOTING STARTS NOW! Click here to cast your vote for (in alphabetical order) Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, or Bernie Sanders -- or for no endorsement at all.

You know that primaries matter -- and when it comes to the future of our country and the world, presidential primaries matter exponentially. Our presidential nominee will set the tone for the entire Democratic Party in this extremely pivotal election year.

DFA was founded out of the presidential primary in 2004, and our members have voted on whether or not we should get involved in every contested presidential primary since then. While we've always done powerful and effective work in presidential campaigns, DFA has never actually endorsed a specific candidate in a contested presidential primary before. But that could all change this year, IF one candidate receives the support of a super-majority of DFA's members.

The very first votes in the 2016 election will be cast on February 1 in Iowa. This means that, if we endorse, we will immediately hit the ground running, devoting real resources -- people, time and money -- to helping your chosen candidate win the nomination.

DFA is a people-powered organization. To maximize your opportunity to vote and to rally your friends and family to vote too, we're keeping this poll open until 11:59pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, December 15.

In this important endorsement poll, EVERY VOTE MATTERS. Let us know who -- if anyone -- you want DFA to endorse, then Get Out The Vote by sharing our poll with your friends and family.

To be completely clear: DFA's number one priority in 2016 is to make sure the Democratic nominee -- no matter who it is -- wins the White House in November. Period.

And, if we do endorse in the primary, we'll work hard for your chosen candidate. But we won't tear down other Democratic Party candidates in the process. Our goal will be to run a 100% positive campaign that will put the nominee in the strongest position to beat Donald Trump -- or whomever the Republicans nominate -- on Election Day.

Here's how DFA's presidential endorsement process will work:

  • The endorsement vote is live right now and will end at 11:59pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, December 15.
  • Just like in a real election, you will need to work hard to maximize support for your candidate if you want them to win this endorsement. That means getting your friends, family and other like-minded progressives to cast their votes for your candidate as well -- on Facebook, Twitter, over email, on the phone, or however you want to spread the word!
  • DFA will only endorse in this presidential primary if there is overwhelming support for one candidate from our members. That means that, just like in 2007 when we last conducted an official presidential endorsement vote, we will only endorse if one candidate reaches the super-majority threshold of 67% (two-thirds of votes cast, or 66.67% to be technical about it).
  • On Thursday, December 17 -- after a complete security review of the votes -- we will announce the results.

I can't wait to find out what DFA members will decide. Can one candidate earn our support? Will your candidate win?

The next week is going to be very exciting! Don't waste another minute -- cast your vote in our presidential endorsement poll NOW, then start spreading the word through social media and email to your community!

Thanks for participating in this critical DFA endorsement vote and sharing it with your friends. Together, we're unstoppable.

- Charles

Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director
Democracy for America

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