I want to take a moment following this difficult election to share some of the impact we made together and, most importantly, to say thank you. Thank you to each of you who supported and invested in Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC and our endorsed candidates.
Together, you helped make history in our first election cycle by building the first Jewish PAC focused exclusively on the progressive domestic issues most important to our community. This was a tough election but there’s no doubt that our voices made a difference in key fights and put our community on the map for future victories.
Here are several bright spots from our work in the election:
In Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto became the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate. Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC’s investment in her race was over $30,000 and more than 140 Let My People GOTV! volunteers knocked on doors in Reno and Las Vegas to inform voters about her campaign.
In Illinois, Tammy Duckworth won a U.S. Senate seat against a Republican incumbent — the PAC invested and raised over $25,000 in her race.
The PAC also endorsed incumbent Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI), as well as Senator-elect Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). These public servants are strong progressives and will be in a position to fight a conservative agenda next year.
Of the 19 House candidates the PAC endorsed and supported, 17 of them were victorious on election day — four of these races were among the most competitive in the nation. These are all seats that each incumbent can hold as Democrats look to make significant gains in 2018.
Overall, 22 of the 29 candidates that Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC endorsed won. And we couldn’t have done it without you.
Here are a few of my favorite findings about this community:
This was our first election cycle, so we have no baseline to compare it to, but there is a lot of good data to be analyzed from the last two years — here’s what I already know.
Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC raised just under $600,000 for progressive candidates since our launch in 2014 — that was 20% over our goal!
Over 71% of donations went towards candidates in competitive races — even though those candidates made up only one-third of our roster.
Over 26% of donations were given directly to Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC. Among other things, this money allowed us to have the flexibility to respond to the volatile politics of this election, endorse and support more candidates throughout the cycle, and help the candidates who needed it the most.
The way forward:
As the 2018 election cycle begins to come into focus, there’s a lot to look forward to accomplishing together.
Many progressive incumbents will need our help and support to seek re-election next cycle and to stop a reactionary agenda pushed by Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell.
Some of our current endorsees will be looking to run for higher office and will need our support. And many new progressive candidates will look to challenge House Republicans who will have just spent two long years defending the Trump administration and its dangerous agenda.
Thank you again for all of your incredible support for Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC. I look forward to your partnership in growing our impact together in the months and years ahead.
As the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy once said, “…the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”