CBS: 2020 Daily Trail Markers


Today the Progressive Turnout Project (PTP) announced a slate of 101 endorsements ahead of the 2020 election including former Vice President Joe Biden, 16 current senators and challengers running for the Senate and 84 House candidates. 

The grassroots-funded political action committee told CBS News political unit associate producer Sarah Ewall-Wice its bottom line is to get Democrats to the polls. 

“We want to win a majority and we want to take back the White House, so we prioritized the White House, we prioritized winning back the Senate and retaining the majority in the House,” said Executive Director Alex Morgan. 

Morgan told CBS News the PAC is focusing on battleground races where it can make the most difference, but because access to the ballot is core to its mission, the group is also concentrating on a slate of candidates who support legislation focused on voting access like the For the People Act and the Voting Rights Advancement Act. 

“Having someone at the top of the ticket being outspoken about those issues is really crucial,” Morgan said of Biden.

As part of its mission to get people to the polls, PTP is investing more than $52 million to knock on more than 10 million doors and get out the vote in 17 presidential and Senate battleground states. And despite the coronavirus’ has people homebound for now, that plan has not changed. 

The organization already hired all of its district leadership positions in February, including about 115 people who would be opening offices and training staff in 17 states. It’s opening offices, buying supplies, and setting up the technology needed by its teams. 

At the same time, all trainings are being conducted via Zoom.  While there are still questions about when people will be heading out and knocking on doors, PTP is talking about ordering face masks and hand sanitizer. 

“We’re talking about pre-packaging,” Morgan said. “Normally we would hand someone a clipboard. We are not going to do that this cycle because we don’t want to exchange things back and forth.” 

Morgan emphasized the group is also keeping a close eye on stay-at-home orders and will not be going door-to-door until it gets the local go-ahead. 

In addition the group has launched an effort called Turnout 2020, which is a virtual phone banking program. Through that program, millions of supporters on their email list who were going to travel to engage with voters could still volunteer. 

Some staff have also shifted their attention to making calls to battleground states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona to remind voters that they can sign up to vote-by-mail online in November. 

“We’ve been calling voters and walking them through that process,” said Morgan. “You know, while everybody is at home to say, ‘hey, this is a really good action you can take right now to ensure you get a ballot and can cast your vote this November regardless of what happens.'”

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