Why Winning the Senate Is As Important as Winning the White House

By Rahna Epting, Executive Director of MoveOn Political Action

MoveOn members canvass for Colin Allred on October 27, 2018 in Richardson, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for MoveOn)

On November 3, Americans will vote for who they believe is the most fit to lead our nation out of the pandemic and into recovery and reconstruction. Everything from our economy and our healthcare, to the future of the Supreme Court and rule of law is at stake. Everything. This election is perhaps the most pivotal in modern United States history.

Another two years of a Mitch McConnell-controlled Republican Senate will decimate our chances of recovery and progress. Full Stop. That is why we must vote to elect Democrats into the Senate majority and strip McConnell of his leadership.

Liberals, progressives and moderate Democrats alike do not just have to beat Donald Trump, we have to beat the elected officials who have enabled, encouraged and covered up for him. The Republican Senate has almost unanimously validated the Trump administration’s careless, reckless and harmful policies. Given what we know about our nation’s disastrous response to Covid-19, it’s clear that Donald Trump and his Republican enablers will botch America’s recovery process as well.

Senate Candidates

That is why MoveOn is announcing our endorsement of Steve Bullock (MT), Cal Cunningham (NC), Sara Gideon (ME), Theresa Greenfield (IA), Jaime Harrison (SC), John Hickenlooper (CO,) and Mark Kelly (AZ) for the Senate. While our members don’t agree with these candidates on every issue, they all represent an opportunity to move past the divisiveness of the last four years and start building an America that works for all of us. This is our most present and urgent priority.

MoveOn’s endorsements for this election cycle are focused primarily on defeating Trump and flipping control of the Senate. We are also working toward extending the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, specifically by protecting incumbents and endorsing progressive candidates in winnable districts held by Republicans. Some of our newest endorsees include Dana Balter (NY-24), Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (IL-13), Kara Eastman (NE-2), Christina Hale (IN-05), Sri Preston Kulkarni (TX-22), Candace Valenzuela (TX-24), and Cameron Webb (VA-05). These candidates stand to expand the Democratic majority in 2021, while reflecting the diversity of our communities.

As the election approaches, we need to be wary of obstinance toward candidates that are less than perfect, or not a 100 percent match with our own definitions of progressivism. In order to move forward as a functioning, pluralistic democracy, we have to unite across lines of race and identity, with people from all walks of life and who have different points of view.

Over the past four months, we have watched our federal government and elected officials turn a blind eye to this pandemic, allowing tens of thousands of people to die needlessly. We know these candidates will end the rash, chaotic practices of our current government.

The chance to regain Democratic control of America’s legislative branch is finally upon us. If we win the Senate and maintain control of the House, progressives will be able to advocate for the policies we believe in with elected officials who are willing to listen and work with us.

In the weeks and months ahead, MoveOn members will continue to advocate for these candidates as well as for essential workers and those living on the front lines of injustice and oppression. We will continue our years-long effort to resist the hate and incompetence of the Trump administration by building a massive turnout of a diverse, multi-racial majority.

The clock to election day is ticking. Our best options will be waiting at the ballot box.

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