Work Needed: Dems’ Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler’s Open Letter

Dear fellow Wisconsin Democrats,  It’s time to cancel everything and go knock on doors.

With 18 days to go, we’re in a statistical dead heat in our statewide elections—and a red alert in the fight against Republican supermajorities in the state legislature. That means it’s time to pull out all the stops. How many volunteer shifts can you complete before the polls close? How many voters can you talk to? Find your local canvass launches—they’re happening everywhere, every week, now through November 8—and sign up at this link!

Every time I’ve knocked on doors this fall, I’ve found at least one voter who either wasn’t sure if they’d vote or wasn’t sure whom they’d vote for—but by the end of the conversation, committed to voting for Democrats.

If everyone receiving this email completes three volunteer shifts between now and Election Day and convinces one voter per shift, we’ll win more votes than the statewide margin of victory in the 2018 Governor’s race, or the 2020 presidential race, or the 2016 presidential race, or the 2019 state Supreme Court race. (And that list goes on and on.) 

There’s a lot that will happen between now and Election Day that we can’t control. We can’t control the global economy for the next 18 days. We can’t control gas prices for the next 18 days. We can’t control the weather for the next 18 days. But we can decide how we use our time.

And this is the time to do everything we can to bring victories in November.

While you’re driving to your nearest Democratic Party of Wisconsin canvass launch to knock on doors for Evers, Barnes, Kaul, and the other Democratic candidates up and down the ballot, listen to the newest episode of The Run-Up, a podcast by the New York Times. It’s about the impact of gerrymandering and Republican attacks on democracy in Wisconsin.

It’s not easy listening. But at the end of the episode, it makes a critical point.

We don’t live in a functioning democracy at this moment. But there’s a path to creating one. If we win the governorship, if we prevent GOP supermajorities, and if we win the majority on the state Supreme Court next spring, there’s a path to true democracy in Wisconsin. It doesn’t mention it in the podcast, but there’s another path as well: if we hold the House and expand the Democratic Senate majority by two seats—a goal that absolutely requires a victory for Mandela Barnes—then we could pass national pro-democracy legislation that would end partisan gerrymandering and bring full voting rights to our state and every other.

There is hope. There is peril. It’s all on the line. We have 18 days to do everything we can.

Choose hope.

In solidarity,