All across the country, Indivisible groups have been starting the process of endorsing candidates. Together, Indivisibles have a tremendous amount of power—and endorsing is an important first step to influencing who represents us.
The Indivisible Project exists to support the work Indivisible groups are doing across the country. To further the impact and help amplify the endorsements local groups are making, Indivisible Project will facilitate a grassroots-driven national endorsement program for federal (U.S. Senate and U.S House) and gubernatorial candidates. Endorsements will happen in 4 waves: March, April, May, and July.
Who Are We Endorsing?
Endorsements will be driven and voted on by local Indivisible groups who live in the state or district of the race. Indivisible groups that have gone through their local endorsement process for a federal or gubernatorial race will have the opportunity to request an endorsement facilitated by Indivisible at the national level.
Why do National Endorsements?
Endorsements are a tool to signal what policies and values your group wants from your elected officials, and to support and elevate candidates who align with those values. Most importantly, it’s a way to hold candidates and elected officials accountable. Endorsing as a movement helps us grow and work together to make a bigger impact. The party will try to make this choice for you—nominating people who look like traditional politicians, and come with money and connections. Grassroots endorsements disrupt gatekeeping, elevate new leaders, and change the power landscape.
National endorsements help further elevate candidates who are preferred by your grassroots groups. Uplifting locally endorsed candidates on the national stage will showcase a new class of leaders who have grassroots support and reflect the values of the Indivisible movement.
What is the Process to Request a national endorsement?
Indivisible groups who have undertaken an endorsement process in their district or state can submit their local endorsement for national consideration. Indivisible members in the relevant district or state will then be able to vote online on the endorsement.
At a national level, we will only endorse candidates who have been endorsed by a local Indivisible group, recommended for a national endorsement by that group, cleared candidate vetting, and voted for by the majority of Indivisibles who voted online in the relevant district or state.
What Does a National Endorsement Mean? (aka Why Should My Group Request One?)
A key goal of Indivisible435 is to provide local groups in every part of the country with strategic support and resources to impact elections. An endorsement facilitated by Indivisible at the national level will open up additional support for groups engaging in that race. Some of these may include:
Voter contact tools (canvassing and phone banking)
Support and strategic guidance from one of our Regional or Statewide Organizers
Support with media activities related to local Indivisible group support of the candidate
Web and social media graphic assets
Display of a list of endorsed candidates on Indivisible435.org
Identification of potential volunteers to support your candidate and email event recruitment for events registered through indivisible.org
Research and analysis about electoral dynamics in their endorsed race
The general steps of the endorsement process for Indivisible groups are:
1. Indivisible group(s) go through a local endorsement process
Many groups have already made endorsements and others are still working through their process. Check out the Indivisible Endorsement Guide for more tips!
2. Group submits a request for National endorsement
Group leaders who have already gone through the local endorsement process, submit a request for a national endorsement.
Upcoming Submission Deadlines:
- May 7, 2018
- June 30, 2018
3. Indivisible team reviews the submitted candidates
Our team will conduct a vetting process of all endorsement requests to review the candidate’s history and ensure that they’re consistent with the values of our movement; we anticipate that local groups will have gone through a similar process and we don’t expect to disagree with those assessments. Candidates will submit answers to a policy questionnaire, which will be reviewed and shared with local groups. We'll also consider factors like: the number of Indivisible groups that have endorsed a candidate and whether there are any conflicting endorsements; the number of progressive partners that have endorsed a candidate; and intangible factors, such as whether someone is a first-time candidate, performed well in a past race. We actively seek to support women, people of color, and members of other marginalized communities for office where possible.
Candidates who clear the vetting process and the questionnaire will move to the next round, which is online voting by the local groups in the candidate’s district or state jurisdiction in which they are running.
4. Group members sign up to be part of voting
We will ask everyone on our email list in the district or state in which the election is taking place to vote via email. Group leaders can circulate this form to group members who want to vote on endorsements. (We don’t sell anyone’s information or share it with other organizations, but we want to make sure we’re in touch with the people who lead our movement—the members of Indivisible groups—exactly for situations like this, so that we can make sure we’re taking their preferences into account. We’ll also use these emails to help drive attendance to events!)
5. Voting begins
Group members on our email list (make sure all your group members sign up here!) in the candidate’s congressional district or state will receive an email with the candidates bio/blurb and which groups have endorsed them.
6. The votes are tallied
We consider two factors from the votes:
First, we will only endorse a candidate if 60% or more of Indivisibles who vote online support them;
Second, we will look at the portion of total potential voters who decided to vote to ensure that there's enthusiasm for the candidate among Indivisibles.
7. Results are announced
Indivisibles in the district will receive an email announcing if an endorsement has been made. If voting results in a national endorsement, groups should make plans to announce the endorsement and get involved in supporting their chosen candidate.
8. Celebrate the endorsement locally
Any national endorsement is a team effort between the group or groups that nominated the candidate, our national team, and all local Indivisibles who voted to endorse. So celebrate it a little! Consider hosting an announcement event with the candidate. Think about the ways the race might be historic in nature or what about their story excites you—talk about that! (Reminder that we always tell groups to spend their time not their money—otherwise it will need to be reported to the FEC).
As a 501(c)(4), Indivisible Project will be staying on the IE side of elections this cycle. This means that Indivisible staff are not able to discuss campaign strategy or any other nonpublic info with political campaigns or parties that might give rise to coordination. We ask you to please be mindful of this when sharing info with us and, if you are unsure about a specific piece of info you want to share, please let us know the nature of the info beforehand so we can advise on whether to share it or not.