Hacks & Wonks 2022 Post-Election Roundtable Part 1

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On this midweek show, we present Part 1 of the Hacks & Wonks 2022 Post-Election Roundtable which was live-streamed on November 15, 2022 with special guests political consultants Dujie Tahat and Kelsey Hamlin. In Part 1, the panel breaks down general election results with discussion of why the feared Republican red wave did not materialize and what lessons Democrats should learn and act upon to maintain and increase the structural advantages they now hold across Washington state. The example of Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez’s surprise win in the 3rd Congressional District can be a roadmap for Democrats looking to expand into other areas, and the increase of Democratic majorities in the State Legislature point to the importance of institutional support for candidates outside the conventionally-accepted norms who aren’t afraid of being bold. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the roundtable releasing this Friday for more election analysis!

As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com.

You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter at @HacksWonks. Find the host, Crystal Fincher on Twitter at @finchfrii and find today’s co-hosts, Dujie Tahat at @DujieTahat and Kelsey Hamlin at @ItsKelseyHamlin. More info is available at officialhacksandwonks.com.

Resources

Hacks & Wonks 2022 Post-Election Roundtable Livestream | November 15th, 2022

Transcript

[00:00:00] Bryce Cannatelli: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I’m Bryce Cannatelli – I’m the Post Coordinator for the show. You’re listening to Part 1 of our 2022 Post-Election Roundtable that was originally aired live on Tuesday, November 15th. Audio for Part 2 will be running this Friday, so make sure you stay tuned. Full video from the event and a full text transcript of the show can be found on our website officialhacksandwonks.com. Thank you for tuning in!

[00:00:38] Crystal Fincher: Good evening and welcome to the Hacks & Wonks Election Roundtable - Post-Election Roundtable. I'm Crystal Fincher - I'm a political consultant and the host of the Hacks & Wonks podcast. And today I'm thrilled to be joined by two of my favorite hacks and wonks to break down what happened in this 2022 general election.

We're excited to be able to livestream this roundtable on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Additionally, we're recording this roundtable for broadcast on KODX and KVRU radio, podcast, and it will also be available with a full text transcript on officialhacksandwonks.com.

Our esteemed panelists for this evening are Dujie Tahat. Dujie is CEO and Managing Director of DTC. He's a political and cultural strategist with deep expertise across emerging and established nonprofit advocacy organizations, legislative and electoral campaigns, and Fortune 500 companies. They've developed countless strategic messaging and narrative guides that center Black, Indigenous, and people of color, immigrants, queer folks, elderly Washingtonians, and those experiencing homelessness across a range of issues from environmental justice to housing and labor rights. Informed by their background organizing in the Yakima Valley then among artists and social justice advocates in and around Seattle, Dujie has built a career ensuring people at the margins are pulled to the forefront of political power building, organizational priorities, and communication strategies. Welcome, Dujie.

[00:02:17] Dujie Tahat: Thanks, Crystal - that sounds very impressive.

[00:02:19] Crystal Fincher: It does sound very impressive, doesn't it?

Kelsey Hamlin is a Principal Consultant at DTC. She's a communicator, organizer, and researcher who worked for four years as a journalist across the Puget Sound before switching over to nonprofit and campaign work. Much of her skillset centers writing, strategic messaging, design, and politics. She's both covered the Legislature and worked to advance policies through it, coordinating with legislators and lobbyists, gathering data and research, and organizing testimony across coalitions that position proposals for the best success as conditions change. Kelsey's personal advocacy, chosen journalistic coverage, and work focus on social justice and the moments, legalities, and policies that touch people's everyday lives. She treasures keeping things accessible to all in spite of deliberately convoluted and racist systems. Welcome, Kelsey.

[00:03:16] Kelsey Hamlin: Thank you, and thanks for having us both here.

[00:03:18] Crystal Fincher: Yes, and we were going to have Djibril Diop join us this evening, but he actually had an emergency pop-up, so we are thinking about him and his family and wish them the best. I'm Crystal - I'm a political consultant. I also have the Hacks & Wonks podcast and am excited to get to breaking down and talking about what happened on Election Night.

We will start with the Congressional races and one of the biggest upsets, if not the biggest upset, in the country with - in the Third Congressional District, Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez defeating MAGA Republican Joe Kent. So we now see that this is - the race has been called for Marie, she is back in Washington DC now doing her orientation - but this was a long shot. Looking at this race, why was she able to be successful, Dujie?

[00:04:17] Dujie Tahat: Yeah, I think that Marie Gluesenkamp - I think that coming out of Election Night, John Fetterman, the new senator from Pennsylvania, got a lot of headlines for progressive populism and running a campaign of good fundamentals. I think everything that got him to the Senate, you could say about Marie's campaign as well. It was really strong in terms of messaging. She came up against an opponent who was clearly unfit for the office that they were seeking. And I think, not for nothing, voters are smart enough to see through that. The fundamentals for that campaign were really, really good. I think the ecosystem, the progressive ecosystem, also came together and rallied around Marie Gluesenkamp, which is a really fantastic thing and obviously, every little bit mattered for her race in particular. I'm really, really interested in seeing her brand of progressive populism begin to take hold within Washington state in particular. I think that our Democratic Party infrastructure is a little bit afraid to go left sometimes. And I think she's laid out a pretty strong and compelling case for what it might actually look like to lead, to be really, really forward with your values. I'm really excited by that campaign and the implications for future races.

[00:05:44] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely - and Phil Gardner, who managed that campaign and did an excellent job, talked about this not being a fluke. This wasn't a chance. This wasn't a shock to them. They had a plan. They nailed strategy. They nailed execution - just from the outside looking in. And their take on it, just seeing what Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez said - how did you win this race? What did you do to win people who may not have always voted for Democrats, may generally vote Republican? - and it really is two parts. They made sure they knew how awful - they made sure that everyone knew how awful Joe Kent's views were, and they were extreme. And they gave them an alternative they can be enthusiastic about. And I think, to your point, Dujie, that is the key. It wasn't just, hey, this guy is really bad and scary bad - and to be clear, he was scary bad. But that's not enough, and you have to paint a vision of what you're going to do for people in the district, how you can help people. This is a district that is both suburban and rural, and she had to reach people in all of those areas. And really, it was her strength in the rural areas that allowed her to hang on in this race - when we've seen in prior years, late ballots have allowed Republicans to overtake Democrats in this area. As you looked at this race, Kelsey, what did you see?

[00:07:20] Kelsey Hamlin: Yeah, we definitely had a couple of folks in Clark doing other campaign stuff. And when push came to shove, once Marie made it through the primary, a lot of folks on the ground were - point blank - we're going to pivot and focus on this campaign, because that's where the movement needs to happen and that's what we're going to focus on, because it's that important. So on the ground, you just saw door knocking, you saw volunteers really putting their feet in and digging in their heels to make sure that she made it. And ultimately, that's because she went out there and talked directly to people. You see that with AOC, you see that with Fetterman - and so at the end of the day, what matters is these conversations that Democrats choose to have with people or not with people, and where they choose to have those - because Marie was popular across Clark County, not just in the specific town hubs or city hubs. She was popular in various setups and demographics and in different land use areas, so it wasn't like she stuck to one place and called it good.

[00:08:29] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. And in part of a plan, part of a memo that Phil Gardner shared was a breakdown of just kind of what it's going to take to win. And it says to beat Kent and win the election, Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez needs the resources to accomplish three goals. The first one was maximize Democratic turnout in vote-rich Clark County - certainly maximizing in the more Democratic areas was necessary. But also number two - show up everywhere and make the race closer in rural areas. One third of the voters in the district live outside of Clark County in rural areas, and so improving on past performance was absolutely vital. Marie hails from one of those counties, knows how to connect with those voters. She is a rural voter and has talked about her frustrations of being painted with a broad brush as either nonexistent or only concerned with a narrow set of issues. And she talked about everything passionately from abortion to health care coverage, to the economy, to the extremism - back and forth. And then the third thing on the list was build a cross-party coalition for this unique election, recognizing that there were going to be a lot of disaffected people who had traditionally voted Republican, but never for a Republican like Joe Kent, and really giving them an alternative - to her point - that people could be enthusiastic about, not just - well, let me choose between the lesser of the evils. But someone who actually painted a vision for what life could be and how life could improve in that district. And mission accomplished in that way, and so that was absolutely exciting to see - was as excited about that race personally as any of them that I worked on this cycle - just really incredible to see.

And then, we've talked through on the show a lot of times, but we had the Senate race with Patty Murray and Tiffany Smiley. We had another competitive Congressional race between Kim Schrier and Matt Larkin. As you look at those, as you heard some of the rhetoric about whether a red wave was coming, how close this may be, seeing some of the polling showing it being a very close race - how did you evaluate this race and were the results surprising for you, Dujie?

[00:11:01] Dujie Tahat: Yeah, I think my main takeaway - and I think Schrier's race was a good sort of object lesson and - is that some of the fundamental structural advantages the Democratic Party has in Washington state are set. All the polls had Schrier winning by 6, even though she wasn't securing a majority - and basically all the entire undecided block came over to the Schrier camp and she ended up winning by 6. I think that for decades now, everybody whose job it is to elect Democrats focused on swing districts, particularly suburban white women. And as the sort of national politics has gotten really rancorous and Republicans have basically turned off that block here in Washington state, I think that block is increasingly more and more entrenched, and I think you see that come through in all of these national races. I think when we dig into some of the legislative races here shortly, too, I think you see the same thing bear out. But I think Schrier, I think for a number of reasons - because of the district she represents in particular, because of its historic swinginess, because of I think also the decisiveness of that outcome, she won by over 6 points, which I think holds with what everyone predicted - all of the FiveThirtyEight projections were around that same mark. I think that that's a really good bellwether in terms of where we're at, and I think it also provides a really interesting opportunity to think about - all right, what's our job now? If that stuff is true - if it's true that we have the sort of structural advantage, now what do we need to do? And I'd like to echo back to showing up everywhere, which is how Pérez won her district.

[00:12:51] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. What about you, Kelsey?

[00:12:55] Kelsey Hamlin: Yeah, I'm really proud of our firm for kind of calling out and seeing that the entire red wave rhetoric was really just fluff. It was just fluff and nice things to say for the GOP to get out there - that a lot of folks were rather mindlessly just proliferating out into the ether and making a big sensation of it across a lot of outlets and polling places. And yeah, I think we were pretty clear that it wasn't going to be as dramatic as it was painted out to be. At max, there are about 2-4 places where we were really watching to see and knowing it was going to be close. But outside of that, we weren't worried about Democratic majorities here in Washington state anyway - and especially too with our Legislature - I know there was a lot of moving parts for our state, but yeah - we saw the whole red wave thing and saw right through it for what it was. Dujie namely had a post about that from our firm pretty early on, and I think as soon too as the primaries came in - once you collected the votes along party lines for how that was going to play out in the general, it practically played right along party lines - with the only time that that did not was in the 42nd LD. So I think Washington is - Washington Democrats have more space for growth and Washington Republicans have hit their ceiling at this point, which is really good news for us as long as we decide to capitalize on it instead of just repeating talking points from the other side.

[00:14:37] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I absolutely think that is correct and the framing of this and these races especially is curious. And I think moving forward, there is some introspection about who we listen to, what kinds of polling firms and what kinds of polls do we take to be serious and credible, exploring - okay, is what I'm talking about backed by data? Do we see anything besides a couple of firms with strong house effects saying something, or is this shown across the wider spectrum and ecosystem of polling and conversations? - so interesting to see. In these races, certainly abortion - humongous issue with the Dobbs decision - was it just about that or was it about other issues too?

[00:15:40] Kelsey Hamlin: Yeah, I feel like it's silly that we silo abortion the way we do. I think that, as a topic of conversation, has come up more and more in the past couple of weeks. But it's never only about abortion. Abortion itself isn't only ever about abortion. The decision to keep or not keep a would-be child is an economic decision at the end of the day. It's a very - do I have enough money to put food on the table for a whole another person in my life? Do I have enough money to put them in daycare when I have to go to work if I'm a single mom, or if I'm a mom who already has three kids? These decisions are ones that people make in very highly contextual situations that are not solely about abortion. So when we're talking about whether or not we're going to force people to have births and carry them to term no matter what's happening to them, that conversation is pretty silly and detached from reality. So when it comes to voters, the top of my things were inflation - we can't talk about inflation and abortion as if they're separate. They have to do with each other. We're not sitting here in our lives and being like - hmm, am I going to invite another child into my life, but then not thinking about the fact that food costs so much more now, and rent costs so much more now, and insurance costs so much more now - all these things are what we as everyday people factor into our lives about all of our decisions. So it's never just about abortion at the end of the day.

[00:17:12] Dujie Tahat: Yeah, I think Kelsey is sort of spot on, right? I think that abortion is a - one, it is protecting the right to abort if you want that. But it is also a placeholder for, I think, fundamentally an attack on freedom. I think about all of the ways that like Republicans have basically ceded freedom as a core value as they've adopted proto-fascist policy positions. And I think - and related to what Kelsey was saying, I think nationally the second and third top-of-mind issues for voters in some early exit polling was abortion and threats to democracy. And I think the thing that threatens both of those are just our core fundamental freedoms, like the choices that we get to make about my own body and then what we as a collective sort of decide for ourselves. And I think, related to also - Republicans have hit a ceiling here in Washington state. It's because they've ceded - to the extent that's true - it's because they've ceded a lot of that ground. Now, it's up to us on the left, it's up to Democrats to actually take that and then paint a positive vision. What does it actually mean to be a party of freedom? And with progressive values - bundle that up with other progressive values and tell a different story, beyond abortion access. What does abortion access actually get us? What is that future and how are we going to get there?

[00:18:40] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. Now we have a slew of legislative races, and the Legislature - this is really interesting this year. Because early on this year, there was a lot of talk about being very concerned about a number of these races, a number of these districts across the state and control of the State Legislature. So we have - in the beginning of the year, it was just like - okay, the 5th, 10th, 26th, 28th, 30th, 42nd, 44th, 47th - several battleground districts. And at the end of the day now - as we looked at the primary results in those, they were certainly encouraging. But even throughout the general, pretty hard fought general elections - a lot of these races had - were very competitive, had quite a lot of spending in these legislative races. I guess looking at a number of them, what overall was your take in the Legislature? And then we might talk about some of these individual races. But overall, how did you see that shaping up early on, and what is your take on how things wound up?

[00:19:59] Dujie Tahat: Yeah. I think a good starting point is contrasting the results of 2022 with 2014, which is the equivalent midterm during a Democratic President. And in 2014, the Senate majority, Democratic majority flipped 25-24, even though it was not a real majority because Rodney Tom was doing his majority caucus thing with the Republicans. They lost the majority. At the same time, the House majority shrank from 54 to 40, setting the table for basically a decade of prioritizing political decisions protecting swing districts over maybe doing the right thing. And that was the context in which I think people were walking into this year. And people were afraid - we have bigger majorities than we had in 2013. And everyone is, and we have a historically unpopular president. You have this increase - a really high enthusiasm, even though it's a small sliver - of far-right noisemakers - we'll call it that. And the most amazing thing is that we increase majorities in both of the houses, right? The - I think for me, and I think that in addition to and maybe on top of just increasing majorities on both houses, I think looking at the Senate side in particular, because that's the highest leverage races is - of the 25 Senate races total that happened this year, Democrats only lost seven of them, five of which a Democrat didn't even run in, right? So you want to talk about showing up everywhere, I think it starts right there, right? There's a - I think there's another, based on some analysis Kelsey did - of the 120-something races in the Legislature, a full third of them had no Democrats running. Republicans had twice, nearly twice as many, first-time candidates running. I think we have to get - we have some structural advantages here, but it means nothing if we don't get back to the fundamentals and one of those fundamentals is showing up everywhere. Because it has a compounding effect of - we had some races and we worked out in Eastern Washington. I grew up in Eastern Washington. And when you don't run races, if you don't show up over and over again - when you show up finally with an argument, it doesn't actually land. And so I think that there is this - to my mind, having the structural advantage is great. We have that now. We prioritized that because everybody has been afraid of 2014 repeating again. We have baked that in over the last decade. But now, again, everybody's job whose it is to elect Democrats has to really have some introspection and some self reflection about - what does it mean now that we have these majorities? Now that these things are set - at least our base is - the people who we thought were persuadables have more or less become our base. Who now is the next set of persuadables? Because we need to keep growing that, otherwise we're going to be in the same position as the Republicans are in.

[00:23:06] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I think that is - I think that makes a lot of sense. And coming into this year, I think you're right - people were in a different mindset - obviously looking at trying to hold on and feeling like they're going to be more on defense. Especially with more of a traditional midterm election field - just those oftentimes are tougher for the party in power. But to your point, the map seemingly has expanded. And Republicans look like they may have challenges with recruiting and being as competitive as they have been in all of these districts before. So it seems - one, it's a mandate for action. People elect people to do things and to make things better, so certainly voters are expecting action. But to your point, this allows the party, organizations, allies to really look at the state and look at how things are on the ground. I look at the 17th and 18th Legislative Districts, which didn't wind up being winning districts for Democrats. But these are districts that have been close and that are still close - 48%-52%, 49%-51% races. And that if there is sustained activation on the ground, if there are candidates running at all different levels, if there are field programs even in off-years, and just real engagement with voters in those districts - in two years, that's ripe for turning blue in a number of these districts across the state. I think that needing to show up and talking with voters, we have a blueprint right there with what Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez just did. Showing up is half the battle. And really connecting and talking with voters there really makes a difference. What did you see here, Kelsey?

[00:25:11] Kelsey Hamlin: Yeah, along a very similar vein - you mentioned the 17th and 18th LDs - what I noticed when I ran a lot of data right before, and then right after the primaries - something as a pattern that I noticed was that in these districts where Democrats and Republicans along party lines were - where there was a ton of candidates - they were really close at the end of the day. But then you look at the funds that are given to the Democratic candidates in those districts, and it's comparatively really low. So I'm looking at, again, post-primary finalization election going to general numbers. You're seeing someone who got 45% have about $7k at the end of the primary and their challenger has $92k at the end of the primary - at the same time. And you're seeing a lot of situations where these are winnable districts - they are really close with people that do not have the funds to make it closer. And at the end of the day, you need funds on a campaign - a lot of people don't know this because campaigns are a black box in the public's eye, but the amount of money that it takes just for sheer voter outreach, just for calling people, just for texting people, just for getting to the doors with some literature for folks to look at and reference for later costs a lot of money. And so does all the postage that you add to for all of the mailers that you send to people - costs a lot of money. And so $7,000 at the end of the primary isn't even going to reach one-third of the voters that you need with mail. So it's stuff like this where I really wish, as a pattern, the Democratic Party was a lot more willing to invest funds in candidates who are showing up in these districts with or without the party backing them - have cropped up and said, I'm going to do this because it needs to happen. And then we need to meet them where they are and show up to make sure that it happens and it pushes through at the end of the day. You see that also in Skagit County - there's a race there that's really close, but not maybe not the best narrative set, but regardless - a 49.99%-47.64% race right now. And that's against - I might be looking at the wrong numbers - but very close.

[00:27:29] Crystal Fincher: Is that the Shavers race in the 10th?

[00:27:31] Kelsey Hamlin: Yes.

[00:27:31] Crystal Fincher: Yeah.

[00:27:32] Kelsey Hamlin: Yeah - that's a Republican and a Democrat. And to me - I come from Skagit County, so I've always known that on the ground, it had every potential to shift blue. And we know too, with the last presidential primaries, that that was an overwhelmingly pro-Bernie district. So there's places where all of these patterns are happening, we can see on the ground and in data numbers that this is a place where Democrats can expand - and then it's not happening on the money side and it needs to. We need to quit operating with fear and with gatekeeping to only fund people that don't even need the funds at the end of the day - some of them are operating without a challenger and they still got more than some of our swing candidates. So that's a pattern that I see.

[00:28:17] Crystal Fincher: Well, and, that's a flip one, because there was actually a lot of Independent Expenditure spending in the 10th Legislative District and a number of these others. And part of the - part of, as you talk about, campaigns are like a black box to a lot of people - and it actually takes a village to elect a candidate is kind of the thing. It takes the campaign and all of their supporters, all of their donors and their operation. In legislative races, the State Party with the Coordinated Campaign often works in conjunction with them, also with the Congressional races. And then there's Independent Expenditures - I work a lot with Independent Expenditures - and that's where that these organizations, who can't coordinate with the campaigns directly, but can participate in electioneering activity in these districts. And so when you see commercials sometimes and you hear "No candidate authorized this ad, this was paid for by some other entity" - that is an Independent Expenditure and there was a lot of Independent Expenditure spending in this district and a number of other districts - to your point, because keeping them is so important and really activating in these districts is so important.

I think another thing that was notable to me, just overall, before we talk about some individual races was just looking at the candidates that were running. And I don't know about you two, but I certainly have heard more than my share of statements like - this guy's an ideal candidate. And by that, they mean - usually - older guy, business owner, veteran, well-off, often - just this is someone Republicans can like and warm up to - it feels like code for that. And it's usually just a version of some veteran business owner - someone who they feel can connect with white, suburban, and rural America. But what we're actually seeing is that candidates who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, queer candidates are actually activating voters in suburban and rural areas to a greater degree than some of those white male business owner veteran type candidates. Higher turnout, higher percentages that they're getting, so they seem to be activating the base needed to win to a greater degree. And now whether that's because they're oftentimes more willing to speak more strongly to issues, more boldly to issues, many issues that they may be closer to feeling the impacts to than other people in the community and understand the urgency of addressing some of those things - whatever that is, voters and all types of voters, whether they're, white, Black, Brown seem to respond at this point in time, at least in over the past couple of cycles, to those candidates as much as anyone. So I do hope that as, especially as consultants, and we have these conversations and we're talking to candidates who are interested in running, that we don't discount someone who may live in a rural area but is Black, someone who may be in a suburban area but is Latino, someone who may be in an area but is queer - those are the candidates who are energizing voters and pumping up turnout and building the winning coalitions of today. That's my two cents on that one.

[00:32:14] Dujie Tahat: Can I ask you a question, Crystal?

[00:32:15] Crystal Fincher: Yeah.

[00:32:16] Dujie Tahat: I'm thinking - even in hearing what you're saying, I think - as an ecosystem - IEs, the party apparatus - everybody's job is to elect Democrats, right? I think we overcorrect and over rely on voters with a high propensity for voting, right? So and you're seeing that, I think, in Washington state - that would be places like South King County, east of Lake Washington, basically the outer Seattle metro area. And it feels like we're maybe at a point potentially where that is now, like what I'm saying earlier, that's maybe part of our structural advantage now, maybe we've done that. I'm curious what you see as what would it take, framing-wise, courage implications - what would it take for all of our various apparatuses to be like - okay, now we have to maybe shift towards motivating - instead of propensity to vote, it's likelihood to vote if they're motivated, right? Give them something to vote for in other places like Skagit or in Yakima, or just some of these places where we haven't built much of an infrastructure.

[00:33:27] Crystal Fincher: I think - to your question, right now is the perfect time to be having those conversations, because I do think that we're at a point where we can pivot to basically offense, and offense everywhere on the ground in the state. And I do think that - I think for the Democratic Party's survival overall - that if we only focus on talking to people who have been frequent voters, that we're missing out on so many others. And there are plenty of reasons why people don't vote and don't vote with regularity. And the worst thing we can do is sit from a place of judgment, which I don't think - I know that you guys are not, but there have been others in this ecosystem who have - and understand that we better be coming to people with solutions that improve their lives on a daily basis and change they can feel. So some of that - talking about action in the Legislature, action from people who have been elected - so they come back and they say, you put your faith in me to make a positive change, here is that change. And that they're doing things that people can feel on the ground, which won't be everything that everyone does all the time. Sometimes people do things that affect different people and different populations, and sometimes I may feel it and sometimes I may not. But there better be things going on that everybody can feel, there better be something you can point to and be like - okay, I heard you, I see what you're going through, and I have taken action to ease a burden that you were feeling and to make things better. So I think it really starts with governing for everyone in the district now. And whether people are documented or undocumented, whether people are of voting age or not of voting age, and whether people are regular voters or not - that you're governing for everyone in the district and taking tangible action that they can see. And connecting with those people and being in community and conversation, I think, is a very important thing. We see turnout increase when people are engaged. We've seen turnout increase, sometimes not even attached to a candidate, but attached to an initiative or an issue in an area, and people turning out for something that they can see - okay, this makes a difference.

But we also have to contend with some of the reality that people have heard a lot of rhetoric from a lot of people for a while. And sometimes they're just like, okay, everybody promises something. Until I see something, I'm going to tune out. And there's a lot that's not easy to see, right? And sometimes there's inaction that makes it easy not to see anything. So I think it is really action coupled with connection and community. And listening - I think that we have a mandate to listen as much as we do to act, and to be in community and just to say - okay, what are you going through? I'm not in your specific situation, but tell me what you're feeling, tell me what your challenges are, and let's see if we can do something about it. The more that people are doing that in community - and I think of Emily Randall, I think of Jamila Taylor, I think of April Berg, I think - there's so many that I can name that I know do a great job of that now. And that's just a model to emulate for even more people. Did that answer your question?

[00:37:15] Dujie Tahat: Yeah. Yeah, totally. I love the - govern first. Do good things.

[00:37:21] Crystal Fincher: Do good things.

[00:37:22] Dujie Tahat: Yeah - good things. Take the credit for it, show up and talk to everybody - yeah, fundamentals.

[00:37:31] Crystal Fincher: And lots of people think that political consulting and like we're sitting here, you know, with wizard hats on in the background and crunching numbers and coming up with magical stuff - and really it's just about trying to inform people about who someone is. And to let people know that there is someone who wants to help, but also making sure that they're out there and talking to people and in community. And I guess I will also say - for people who are political consultants - that we also have a responsibility in this whole thing. And who we choose to work for, who we choose to work with, the people who we lend our time and talent to help get elected - that matters, and the candidates that we choose to work with matter. It's really consequential and so, there's also just accountability to be had on our part too for what we put out there, who we help do things, and all that. I do think that that is valid and that we all have to answer for what we're doing and what direction we're moving.

[00:38:57] Bryce Cannatelli: You just listened to Part 1 of our 2022 Post-Election Roundtable that was originally aired live on Tuesday, November 15th. Audio for Part 2 will be running this Friday, so make sure to stay tuned. Full video from the event and a full text transcript of the show can be found on our website officialhacksandwonks.com. The producer of Hacks & Wonks is Lisl Stadler. Our assistant producer is Shannon Cheng, and our Production Coordinator is Bryce Cannatelli.

You can find Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks, and you can follow Crystal @finchfrii, spelled F-I-N-C-H-F-R-I-I. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to get our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered straight to your podcast feed. If you like us, leave us a review wherever you listen to Hacks & Wonks. You can also get a full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the podcast episode notes.

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