WASHINGTON – The much vaunted blue wave fizzled on Election Night but a red wave was swelling — and it wasn’t the GOP’s. Twenty eight of 37 candidates nationally endorsed by Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest group of the organized Left since the 1940s, won office across the country. Many others endorsed at the chapter and regional level also won putting DSA members and supported candidates into Congress, statehouses, and local governments.
While centrists and establishment Democrats floundered, DSA maintained a win rate of 76% nationwide. Democratic socialist electeds now have caucuses of two or more members in state legislatures in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Minnesota, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, California, and Michigan.
That other red wave swept a number of local and state ballot initiatives. Eight of nine major ballot initiatives — ranging from increasing rights for renters, a $15 minimum wage, tax the rich, a Green New Deal, etc — written and organized by DSA chapters directly were passed in Oregon, Colorado, Maine, Metro DC, and Florida (despite Trump’s win there).
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These gains played out of course against a larger backdrop of high voter turnout. But as absentee and mail-in ballots are counted by election officials, Joe Biden’s lead is growing. Meanwhile Trump has restated again and again his past remarks denouncing democratic norms.
Nearly 80,000 DSA members are standing by, some in key battleground states already acting as election observers at ballot counting sites or in the streets demanding that every vote be counted. DSA has joined forces in a united front with unions, community organizations, and more in coalition to “count every vote and demand democracy.
“Despair and cynicism can lead us to give up,” said Maria Svart, DSA’s executive director. “Hope and a plan help us feel we are not alone and our democracy can win—and we plan to win. Working class people voted in record numbers this fall despite the many barriers erected by the ruling class. We are taking steps nationwide to coordinate and organize an escalating strategy to move at all levels to defend a democratic transition. Then, we will push for real system change because the politics of the Wall Street Democrats have failed.”