Yesterday’s real lesson was in South Carolina’s 5th CD race

06/21/2017

“Today, while the majority of the media focused on Georgia’s 6th congressional district, another contest provides better insight regarding our path to taking back the House. Yesterday, in South Carolina, Republican Ralph Norman won by just 2,800 votes in a seat that Republicans won by almost 56,000 votes last November. This race demonstrates that running on a strong message can be successful in traditionally red districts, even where the candidate is significantly outspent.

Let’s be clear, the race in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District was important and an amazing turnaround for a district that Republicans won by 76,000 votes last November. This time, they won by only 13,000 votes. It’s a clear sign that change is coming. It is also a clear message that Democrats need to continually invest in congressional districts nationwide to ensure that we can take advantage when opportunities arise and stop the Trump agenda is in its tracks.

A strong message is what wins elections, regardless of how much money is thrown at a race. It is our positive vision and progressive agenda for the country that inspires engagement and effects real change. It is insufficient to expect voters to simply vote against someone.

Last year, I ran in Illinois’ 6th District — a district largely ignored by the Democratic party — and received 41% of the vote, even though I was outspent 30-1. Hillary Clinton won the District by seven points. In 2018, it will be one of the most promising turnover districts in the nation. I planted the seed last year, and now I’m continuing to campaign with a progressive vision to achieve universal health care, expand educational opportunity for all, and protect our environment. This week’s special elections showed that true change is happening, and we are at the forefront of that change.”