We lost. That’s the thing hanging heavy on our hearts today- Susan Collins won and will shortly begin her 5th term in the Senate, and we’re further from flipping the senate to democratic control than we’d hoped or even imagined.
We’re tired. None of the flip crew have gotten much rest over the past few weeks- an action a day gets tiring after the first 10 days or so and we held that pace for over 40. We’ve driven thousands of miles and canvassed by car, foot, bike, and kayak.
But we don’t regret doing this work. We are grateful to everyone who supported this project. The progressive, independent, and radical Mainers we connected with this autumn reminds us that even in this mostly rural state (also the whitest in the nation) there are folks who support medicare for all, believe black lives matter, and who will fight for progressive values.
Over 100 people made monetary donations to the project, with contributions ranging from $10 to over $10,000. Others offered housing, food, video editing, grocery store cards, and so many other skills and gifts. Thank you to everyone who helped keep our canvassers fed, housed, and fairly compensated for their work.
Dozens of volunteers contributed their time to Flip 2020, from analyzing data to decide where to canvass, to fundraising, to knocking on doors, to cooking dinner, to tabling at farmers markets, to balancing the budget. Thank you to everyone who gave of their time and skills to support this project.
The project can point to a number of successes. When we first started working on this campaign Lisa Savage was polling at 2%, by election day she was at 5% and came within a few thousand votes or her 2nd place votes determining the race. The whole team became fierce advocates of ranked choice voting, something many of us knew little about before our arrival. The package of policies (a demilitarized Green New Deal, Medicare for all, defunding the police, ending the drug war, free tuition) are becoming the new populism and we found they had great traction with voters – this part of the movement is ramping up. We built bonds with locals and each other that will last well beyond the election dust settling.
We have done our final heart circle, spent quite some time listening to the appreciations we had for each other and some pointed regrets as well. Some of us will head to Georgia to work on the runoff senate race. Others will return to the intentional communities movement. Still others head back to school, to work, to organize groups in our communities. Some of us have gotten more connected to BLM organizers, indigenous led activist crews, femme lead political agitating, and more. While losing sucks, none of us regrets coming on this adventure and our efforts to make things be better. Thank you to everyone who made the Flip 2020 project happen.