If there was ever a doubt that committed activists could shake things up and make a difference, let the recent grassroots PA-Sen Straw Poll stand as an example in your mind.
The problem: Political insiders were dominating the contours of the PA-Sen primary, trying to clear the field for Arlen Specter. The grassroots had no meaningful voice.
The solution: A Straw Poll supported by tons of national and state progressive actors -- where thousands of activists could weigh in on whether the most talked-about potential challenger was good enough to be drafted.
The theory of change: By creating one place where the public, political insiders, and the media could look to see the grassroots discontent with Specter and the level of support for Joe Sestak, progressives could alter the environment in which potential challengers made their decision about whether to run -- and alter the media dialogue to make the idea of a primary challenge less far-fetched.
Below are over 35 media stories and blog posts about the Straw Poll's launch and the final results -- personally, I'm most thrilled with all the local media coverage.
And John Morgan of The Pennsylvania Progressive (a Straw Poll partner) got some video of Sestak talking about our collective impact. Thanks to all who partnered and voted and believed that we could alter the political terrain together.
"[Specter's] remarks have infuriated the liberal blogosphere, which is now conducting a straw poll to determine whether there should be a Draft Joe Sestak movement to challenge Specter in a Dem primary."
If Sestak runs, he automatically gets donations to the draft fund, giving him a boost. If he doesn't, funds in that account go to ActBlue -- a vital piece of progressive infrastructure that has revolutionized people-power campaigning by making online contributions to Democrats easy. (Thanks, ActBlue!)