Building on the foundation we’ve laid over the past couple years and the lessons we’ve learned along the way, the Centrist Project is ramping up our work for the 2018 election cycle.
We have a two-pronged strategy for the 2018 election.
1). We are organizing a campaign to draft a slate of 3-5 Centrist, independent candidates for U.S. Senate (stay tuned!). Recognizing the high barrier to entry at this level, we are focusing on potential candidates who would be instantly credible and viable based on their existing name recognition and fundraising capacity.
2). For the first time, we are recruiting a slate of Centrist, independent candidates to run for state legislature in at least two potential target states, such as Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, Nevada, and Connecticut. Winning races at this level can serve as a proof of concept that can be scaled to other states and up the ballot in future elections, while simultaneously building a farm team of leaders to run for higher office in the future.
We aim to announce our candidate slates by fall 2017.
While over 40% of voters self-identify as independent voters, fewer than .01% of legislators are elected as independents. Why? Talented leaders don’t run as independents because there is zero infrastructure to support their campaigns, unlike major party candidates. That is the core problem we are determined to solve.
With the resources we raise from individuals like you, we are investing in three main areas:
1). We are taking a data-driven approach to identify states and districts where independent have the best chance at winning elections, based on a range of factors such as electoral rules, composition of the electorate, and other political dynamics.
2). We are creating a Centrist Election Engine to assemble the tools, talent, and training independent candidates need to run competitive campaigns. For example, this includes a pre-vetted bench of campaign staff and vendors, a campaign playbook to advise candidates on things like messaging and ballot access, and technology to help target likely independent voters.
3). Through online marketing and offline organizing, we are curating a network of donors and volunteers who can eventually be mobilized to support the candidates we recruit and endorse –– within their states/districts and across the country.
A more detailed Strategic Plan is available to those who are interested in supporting our work.