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9 Candidates Now Qualify for Debate 3

Today, Andrew Yang became the 9th candidate to qualify for the third Democratic Presidential debate. After reaching the required thresholds for donors (130,000 donors from 20 states), he also hit the polling threshold (at least 2% in four qualified polls). Andrew Yang will be joining Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Congressman Beto O'Rourke on the stage when all 9+ candidates debate in Houston on September 12th and 13th (if more than ten candidates qualify).

Additionally, there are three candidates on the cusp of qualifying for the third debate hitting one of the two qualifying thresholds: Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer. These candidates have either reached the 130,000 donor threshold or the 2% polling threshold but not both. If more than one of these candidates qualifies, then there will be two nights of debates. If 10 or fewer candidates qualify, then there will only be one debate night on Sept 12th. Candidates who fail to meet the threshold by Aug 28th should not despair as the same qualification threshold holds for the fourth debates in October. 

Keep track of the Presidential rankings here: 

 

Jason Bennett
Aug, 08 2019

Q2 Fundraising Numbers are in!

The Presidential Q2 fundraising numbers are in and we have the details and breakdowns of where each of the Presidential candidates are as of June 30th. A few things to note: If the sum of Q1 and Q2 does not add up to the Total Cash Raised column, that's likely because the candidates raised money prior to our Q1 tracking or modest rounding errors. Also, the polling information is an aggregate found here of the most recent, approved national polls.

We will update that information frequently to see who pops up above 2% or who might dip below. The link to the source is included in the column header. Also, we tried to note (and make consistent) flags for when candidates transferred money from their other candidate accounts into their Presidential or when a large sum of cash raised was a part of a Joint Fundraising Committee. These numbers do NOT include party numbers like the RNC or DNC or affiliated PACs or candidate's super PACs. Finally, the average donation and number of donor columns are self-reported numbers. If the candidates have a "?" or a "maybe" in those columns, then the candidate has not divulged the information or they are playing coy with the information (perhaps in an attempt to raise more money).  The list is also sorted by largest Q2 fundraising haul to the smallest. 

Questions, comments, or ideas on other ways we can slice and dice these numbers? Let us know!  Email us at: info@electionu.com.

 

Jason Bennett
Jul, 15 2019

Episode 37 - The Work of Conducting Elections

You research the candidates. You listen to the attack ads on TV. You volunteer to doorbell and you donate to a campaign. And then finally, after a long campaign season, you vote. But then what? What happens to the ballot dropped in the mail, or the tally taken at the poll booth? What happens behind the scenes, between checking the box for your candidate and the results? This week on the Election University Podcast, we go behind the scenes of election management. We get into the electoral nuance that allows our democracy to function. Tune in for the insider’s scoop on election management!

Our guest this week is Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters for Orange County, California. Neal has worked for Orange County, the fifth largest voting district in the United States, since 2004. In that time, he has managed over 75 major elections and  overseen the tally and production of over 15 million ballots. But before transitioning to election management, Neal grew several companies in the private retail sector. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and Management form the University of Redlands and a M.B.A from the University of Southern California.

You can learn more about
Neal Kelley and his work here. You can learn more about Orange County on their website, here. You can also access real time voting data on the Data Central section of their website, or explore documents about Orange County pilots and projects in the Election Library.

Listeners, we want to count your vote! What did you think of this week’s episode? Have you ever volunteered as a vote counter or supervisor? What questions do you have about the elections process? What topic should we tackle next? We want to know! Send us an email at podcast@electionu.com or leave us a note or a review in the comment section below. You just might be the next guest on the Election University podcast!

You can listen to the show right here on the EU website or by subscribing in iTunes, Apple Podcasts, GooglePlaySpotifyStitcherSoundcloudiHeartRadio, and more! If you do subscribe, please leave us a rating and review. We love the feedback and we read every one! If you'd like to hear a particular topic on our podcast, please email podcast@electionu.com. As always, thanks for listening!

Jason Bennett
Feb, 05 2019

Episode 36 - Is Direct Mail Dead?

Some political experts (most notably, former Obama speechwriter and Pod Save America/The Wilderness podcaster, John Favreau) argue that the days of traditional media like political direct mail are long gone. But is that really true? In this digital era, do the traditional political mediums still work? Given the tedious deluge of junk mail, bills, and catalogs, how effective are these political mail pieces, really?

This week on the Election University Podcast, our expert guest argues that direct mail is more effective than ever—especially when it comes to reaching historically underrepresented voters. And he has the science to prove it. 

Our hosts Jason Bennett and Reiny Cohen interview Lionel Dripps, the Managing Director for Program and Digital at the Voter Participation Center. The Voter Participation Center is a nonpartisan organization devoted to ensuring that the voting population is representative of America’s population. To do this, the Voter Participation Center (VPC) focuses on increasing civic engagement among the Rising American Electorate (unmarried women, people of color, and millennials). And VPC’s primary tool to accomplish this goal? Direct mail.

Lionel Dripps is the Managing Director for Program and Digital at The Voter Participation Center. He also is Vice President at the Pivot Group. Previously, he served as the Executive Director for the Colorado Democratic Senate Fund, Regional Director for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, and on a handful of campaigns throughout the country.

You can find more information about the Voter Participation Center at their website, here. Interested in The Wilderness podcast, you can start listening here.

Listeners, we love mail and want more of it! Send us an email with your thoughts on this week’s episode! Have you seen a good direct mail piece recently that you just have to share? What about a big mail flop? We want to hear from you! You can reach us at podcast@electionu.com or leave us a note or a review in the comment section below.

You can listen to the show right here on the EU website or by subscribing in iTunes, Apple Podcasts, GooglePlaySpotifyStitcherSoundcloudiHeartRadio, and more! If you do subscribe, please leave us a rating and review. We love the feedback and we read every one! If you'd like to hear a particular topic on our podcast, please email podcast@electionu.com. As always, thanks for listening! 

Jason Bennett
Jan, 29 2019

Episode 35 - Public Financing of Campaigns & Democracy Vouchers

Season Two of the Election University Podcast is here! This season, in addition to providing resources for down ballot campaigns, we are investigating the forces that influence elections. From voter contact tactics, to election security, to funding your campaign, we’ll cover it all. You’ll get the context you need to participate fully in your democracy, no matter your level of political experience.

Today, we kick things off with an investigation of an innovative way to fund political campaigns—public financing! The goal of public financing is to lower the barrier of entry for candidates who don’t ordinarily have access to the ballot. Candidates without deep pockets are empowered to run competitive races. Voters and residents are empowered to participate in local elections, regardless of their socio-economic status. Some localities have experimented with public financing of elections through grant or contribution matching systems. But Seattle has taken a new approach to public financing—one that automatically empowers all residents to participate. On this episode of the Election University podcast, we get the inside scoop on Seattle’s Democracy Voucher Program. We chat with Seattle Ethics and Elections’ Rene LeBeau about the Democracy Voucher’s successes and shortfalls, and discuss its implications for the future of publically financed elections.

Rene LeBeau is the Democracy Voucher Program Manager at Seattle Ethics and Elections. She previously worked on election implementation and administration at King County Elections and the Washington Secretary of State’s office. She also has five years of experience in software.

You can learn more about Seattle Ethics and Elections and the Democracy Voucher Program here.

It’s season two, and we want to hear from you! Send us your podcast topic recommendations! Send us your comments and questions! We missed you over the break, and we want to hear from you! You can reach us at podcast@electionu.com or leave us a note or a review in the comment section below.

You can listen to the show right here on the EU website or by subscribing in iTunes, Apple Podcasts, GooglePlaySpotifyStitcherSoundcloudiHeartRadio, and more! If you do subscribe, please leave us a rating and review. We love the feedback and we read every one! If you'd like to hear a particular topic on our podcast, please email podcast@electionu.com. As always, thanks for listening! 

Jason Bennett
Dec, 25 2018

Episode 34 - Political Spouses, Part 2

You asked, we answered! Join the Election University podcast for an encore of our popular episode on Political Spouses. If you’re slogging toward November, wondering when you might get a moment to see your family or partner—this episode is for you!  Or, maybe you are a potential politico or political spouse in need of encouragement and advice—this episode is for you! Our hosts Reiny Cohen and Jason Bennett bring you the tips and tricks you need to keep your family grounded this election season. Our guest this week is Kerry Kriseman, expert political spouse. Kerry has survived more than 20 years of political campaigns. How did Kerry and her family endure a recent contentious re-election campaign, navigate the rise of social media, and persist through campaign wins—and losses? Tune in to find out!

Kerry Kriseman is a St. Petersburg native and communications professional. She currently works as a Public Relations consultant at Creative Clay, a St. Pete organization dedicated to making the arts accessible to all. She is also working on her first book about her experience as a political spouse. Previously, Kerry worked for as a Corporate Communications Specialist for the Tampa Bay Times. She is married to St. Petersburg mayor, Rick Kriseman, who first ran for office unsuccessfully in 1999 and then was later appointed to City Council in 2000. They have two children and a steady stream of Southeastern Guide Dog puppies.

Listeners, we want to hear from you! Are you a spouse in need of the Political Spouse Therapy Group? Do you need to hug a puppy right now? What piece of advice do you have to keep future candidates’ families sane? Are you or someone you love a “political widow?” Are you our next guest on Political Spouses Part III? We want to know about it! Send us an email at podcast@electionu.com or leave us a note or a review in the comment section below.

You can listen to the show right here on the EU website or by subscribing in iTunes, Apple Podcasts, GooglePlaySpotifyStitcherSoundcloudiHeartRadio, and more! If you do subscribe, please leave us a rating and review. We love the feedback and we read every one! If you'd like to hear a particular topic on our podcast, please email podcast@electionu.com. As always, thanks for listening!

Jason Bennett
Sep, 25 2018

EU033 - Polling for Down Ballot Races

What happened with polling in 2016 and what's changed for 2018? How can polling be useful (and affordable) for down ballot campaigns? Does polling tell us if there's going to be a Blue Wave this year? If so, how big? polling is for you! This week's episode answers all of that, and more!  In this week’s episode of the Election University podcast, our hosts Reiny Cohen and Jason Bennett talk with Russ Swindell, Chief Client Strategist with Public Policy Polling, to bring you the insider tips and tricks to get the most affordable, accurate, and timely polling for your campaign.

Public Policy Polling (PPP) provides a highly-accurate alternative to expensive, traditional telephone surveys. Rated one of the highest performing pollsters in the United States, Public Policy Polling conducts thousands thousands of polls across the country for progressive candidates and causes up and down the ballot. The company specializes in Integrated Voice Response Polling, which is an affordable and efficient survey delivered to a landline via a recorded system. Integrated Voice Response Polling allows Public Policy Polling to deliver accurate results at a fraction of the cost of traditional pollsters.

Our guest Russ Swindell has worked for PPP as a client strategist for more than three and a half years. Previously, Russ spent 14 years as the Chief of Staff to Congressman Bob Etheridge of North Carolina.

If you are interested in conducting a poll for your local election or you want to learn more about Public Policy Polling, send an email to information@publicpolicypoling.com. You can also keep up with the latest updates on cutting-edge research and follow races across the country by subscribing to their newsletter. You can also follow PPP on twitter @ppppolls and on Facebook.

Listeners, consider this a very informal poll: did you like this week’s episode? Do you have your own insider tips for getting affordable, accurate polls? Are you going to invest in polling this November? Let us know what you think by emailing us at podcast@ElectionU.com or leaving a note in the comment section below.

You can listen to the show right here on the EU website or by subscribing in iTunes, Apple Podcasts, GooglePlaySpotifyStitcherSoundcloudiHeartRadio, and more! If you do subscribe, please leave us a rating and review. We love the feedback and we read every one! If you'd like to hear a particular topic on our podcast, please email podcast@electionu.com. As always, thanks for listening!

Jason Bennett
Sep, 19 2018

Episode 32 - Hacking Election Voting Machines

Do you think the 2016 Presidential elections were hacked by the Russians? Can voting machines be easily rigged? Are the 2018 midterms at risk of vote tampering? Find out this week on the Election University Podcast! In our third and final LIVE episode from DEF CON 26, our hosts Jason Bennett and Reiny Cohen talk with the organizer and mastermind of the Vote Hacking Village at DEF CON 26. Our hosts will get the inside scoop on election fraud and vote count tampering to find out: how worried should we be really about election integrity?

The Voting Machine Village first appeared at DEF CON 25 in 2017, after various Secretaries of State claimed there was no evidence of hacking election voting machines. To provide public evidence of the hack=ability of voting machines, DEF CON organizers purchased hundreds voting machines online, from sites like Ebay. 25,000 hackers were invited to tamper with the machines. The first machine took 2 minutes to hack remotely and by the end of the conference, all of the machines were hacked. A prefered method for tampering was by Rickrolling users. But even this dramatic evidence was insufficient to change public policy on election vulnerability. So this year, at DEF CON 26, the Voting Machine Village decided to up the ante. They challenged children ages 5-18 to hack the voting machines and vote count websites. An 11-year old hacked into a replica Florida State website in under 10 minutes and changed the displayed election results.

Terrified yet? It gets worse. Jake believes the 2016 presidential election was tampered with but we will never know if the Russians changed the result. Rob Joyce, the Trump administration’s cyber czar spoke at DEF CON 26 and warned that adversaries (Russians) are using the easily available voting machines and software to train for far more damaging attacks. So what can we do today to protect the integrity of our democracy? Tune into the Election University podcast to find out!

Jake Braun is the CEO of Cambridge Global Advisors, a cyber and national security consulting firm. In addition to his role at Cambridge Global, Jake is a strategic advisor to the DHS and Pentagon on cybersecurity. He is also a faculty member of University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Jake previously served as the White House Liaison to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the Obama Administration. Mr. Braun was also on the Presidential Transition Team serving as the  Deputy Director for the National Securities Agency Review.

Interested in learning more to learn more about Voting Village or Jake Braun? Follow Jake on twitter @VotingVillageDC. You can also learn more about his cybersecurity policy initiatives here.

Listeners, we want to hear from you! Send us an email at podcast@electionu.com or leave us a note or a review in the comment section below. Want to get involved or participate in next year’s DEF CON? Maybe we’ll catch you at DEF CON 27! Let us know!

You can listen to the show right here on the EU website or by subscribing in iTunes, Apple Podcasts, GooglePlay, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and more! If you do subscribe, please leave us a rating and review. We love the feedback and we read every one! If you'd like to hear a particular topic on our podcast, please email podcast@electionu.com. As always, thanks for listening!

Jason Bennett
Aug, 28 2018

Episode 31 - Election Buster: Defending the 2018 Midterm Elections from Foreign Adversaries

How far did Russian meddling in the last election extend? What were some of the tactics employed to mislead and manipulate folks outside of the Facebook ads and Twitter trolling efforts extensively covered by the media? In this week's episode, our hosts talk with election systems expert, Joshua Franklin, and his discovery of foreign adversaries buying up domain names and redirecting them to phishing or pharmaceuticals sites. And we learn about his program designed to protect campaigns: Election Buster. Election Buster is an independent, open-source tool created to identify malicious domains disguising as candidate webpages and voter registration systems.

Joshua spoke at DEF CON 26 about technological and procedural measures our government officers and campaigns must take to defend themselves. Specifically, he recommends looking out for different typo squats web domains, which occurs when someone registers a website name that is very close to another person's website name, with the intention of stealing website traffic. Campaigns can protect themselves today with minimum protections like SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security protocol) which are the building blocks of HTTPS. You can read his full presentation and recommendations here. He also has template suggestions you can use when you register your campaign website domain.

Joshua Franklin is a security engineer and has more than a decade of experience working with election technology. He is also an instructor of mobile and telecommunications security. Previously, Joshua worked at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Want to learn more about Joshua and his suggestions for campaign security? You can follow him on twitter @thejoshpit, or send him an email at josh.michael.franklin@gmail.com.

Listeners, we want to hear from you! Have you ever typed in a candidate website and found yourself at a mis-typed web address? Are you double and triple checking web addresses before you hit “buy?” Have you seen sneaky instances of opposition altering web domains? Are you a victim of typosquatting? We want to know about it! Email us at podcast@ElectionU.com or leave a note in the comment section below.

You can listen to the show right here on the EU website or by subscribing in iTunes, Apple Podcasts, GooglePlay, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and more! If you do subscribe, please leave us a rating and review. We love the feedback and we read every one! If you'd like to hear a particular topic on our podcast, please email podcast@electionu.com. As always, thanks for listening!

Jason Bennett
Aug, 21 2018