Winning Over Trump Voters In California's Biggest Congressional District-- Meet Derek Marshall

California Democrats and, no doubt the DCCC, will decide which Republican-held congressional districts to prioritize based on how well Biden did in each of them last year. Trump didn't do very well in any of them other than in McCarthy's Bakersfield-centered 23rd district where Trump took 57.1%. This is a list of the 11 Republican-held districts in California ordered by how much support each gave Biden, from most to least.

  • CA-21 (David Valadao)- 54.4%

  • CA-39 (Young Kim)- 54.1%

  • CA-25 (Mike Garcia)- 54.0%

  • CA-48 (Michelle Steel)- 49.7%

  • CA-22 (Devin Nunes)- 46.2%

  • CA-42 (Ken Calvert)- 45.4%

  • CA-50 (Darrell Issa)- 45.0%

  • CA-04 (Tom McClintock)- 44.0%

  • CA-08 (Jay Obernolte)- 43.6%

  • CA-01 (Doug La Malfa)- 41.1%

  • CA-23 (Kevin McCarthy)- 40.5%

Biden won 4 of them and the Democrats will absolutely try winning all 4, which had been held by Democrats, back. I don't see the DCCC prioritizing any of the others... which is a good thing for progressives, because it is less likely that DCCC will expend much energy trying to prevent them from getting the nomination and running their own campaigns the way they want to. Yesterday, I spoke with one of the progressives, Derek Marshall running in a district, CA-08, the DCCC always ignores and will no doubt ignore again this cycle.

Marshall is a progressive Berniecrat who has a fully-developed policy platform, exactly what the DCCC insists its candidates not have. Not only is he proud of his values and priorities, but he is driving the DCCC forward with a new campaign strategy that is aimed at flipping red, battleground districts. He is eager to speak with CA-08 voters about Medicare-For-All, the Green New Deal, eliminating student debt, racial justice, a jobs guarantee, reimagining education for the 21st century, the $15 minimum wage and fair taxes. I asked Derek to introduce himself with a guest post. Please take a look-- and if you like what you see, consider contributing to his campaign on his ActBlue page.

Ideas, Leadership, and Organizing To Win

-by Derek Marshall

My neighbor voted for Donald Trump.

The artist community living down the street did not.

Yet, every single one of them needs healthcare.

Every one of them is searching for a better-paying job.

All of them need to know that they will still have a roof over their heads at the end of the night.

We know that the beneficial outcomes of our bold, progressive policies and ideas know no voting bloc. It does not matter if our neighbors vote Democrat or Republican. What matters is that we provide them with the assistance they need to survive. Yet, our communities are often left feeling conned by politicians who have nothing but their careers in mind.

We need to show what we already know to be true, that people across the political spectrum believe in things like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and at least a $15 an hour minimum wage. These ideas are not just talking points for us. They are based upon our lived experiences as working-class people with the science, economics, theory, and a belief in humanity to back them up.

We need to get back to the heart of what organizing or “doing the work” truly means to our movement.

History’s great organizers were not merely about knocking on doors, making phone calls, texting voters, or scheduling politically advantageous meetings. They were about putting in the hard-earned sweat equity to improve their communities and getting to know the story of every person which they represent. While we have seen digital organizing prove successful for some progressives at winning in already blue districts, we still find ourselves repeatedly falling short of passing the meaningful pieces of legislation that most American people support.

Our campaign is about forging a pathway forward for progressives to win in battleground districts all across the country.

Freshman Republican Congressman Jay Obernotle currently holds California’s 8th District’s seat. Republicans have represented this area ever since redistricting took place in 2010.

However, we know that the working-class people of the High Desert are exhausted from years of divisive political games. They want to see that they have someone fighting for them in their corner when the going gets tough. They need to know that we are there to ensure a quality life for their families.

We need to bring more to the table outside of the traditional organizing that only begins to take shape a few months before an election. That is why we are getting started now and encouraging every other progressive campaign to do the same.

We saw this in Bernie’s campaign in Nevada. People were on the ground almost a year ahead of the caucus vote. It was less about politics and more about being an ingrained member of the communities and towns throughout the state. Local organizers and leaders understood that this was not about Bernie, but about their community’s betterment.

Our campaign is not just meeting with organizations, but is actually getting involved because this is our community as well. We are focusing on mutual aid, not as some political stunt, but because it’s precisely the type of neighborly love and outreach that the people of this country need right now.

We’re not here to deliver water for a photo op. We’re here to help those who are thirsty.

When you take the time to speak to your neighbor, listen, and have a real, meaningful conversation with them, you quickly learn that they are just as fed up with the same political divisiveness we have seen for decades. People are sick and tired of having representatives in Congress who are there only to collect a paycheck. They are finished with politicians playing games with their livelihoods.

Campaigns cannot continue to drop in a few months before an election. Instead, we must work to become part of the day-to-day lives of our communities.

Campaigns mean nothing without change.

You do not need to have a title in front of your name to start changing people’s lives today.

Let our campaign to represent the people of California’s 8th District serve as the blueprint for future progressives as we lead the way with a new type of community-driven politics.