For Immediate Release
National Progressive Push for 'Strategic Voting' in Presidential Race
'Defeat Romney, Without Illusions about Obama'
SAN FRANCISCO - The national online group RootsAction.org, with 180,000 members nationwide, launched a major push Thursday to reach millions of progressive voters with the following message endorsed by respected leaders such as Daniel Ellsberg, Cornel West and Frances Fox Piven:
Defeat Romney, without illusions about Obama
(Swing States now: Colo., Fla., Iowa, Mich., Mo., Nev., NH, NC, NM, Ohio, Penn., Va., Wisc.)
Initiating signers of this proposal include Daniel Ellsberg, Cornel West, Frances Fox Piven, Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon.
Please tell friends -- no matter what state they live in -- about this proposal for strategic voting, so that progressives can have the most impact with their presidential vote.
While RootsAction activists have consistently challenged Obama policies (on civil liberties, war and bloated military spending, environment, potential cuts to Social Security and Medicare, to name a few), we know that the policies of a Romney/Ryan administration would be worse on many issues and better on none. Consider Romney’s recent vow to "change course" toward even more war-mongering in the Middle East. Or their profound differences on abortion rights and Supreme Court picks.
We also know that whether Obama or Romney wins on November 6th will be decided in a dozen states known as "swing" or "battleground" states because they’re so close they could go either way. Those states now include Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
But due to our 18th century system of presidential elections, your vote in nearly 40 non-swing states (e.g. West Coast, most of Northeast, deep South) will not be decisive because one side or the other will easily win those states. Progressives can take strategic advantage of this archaic voting system that’s winner-take-all in each state.
So please sign this pledge to promote strategic voting: In swing states, we’ll urge progressives to vote against Romney/Ryan by voting for Obama/Biden (despite our vital policy critiques) -- and we’ll urge progressives in non-swing states to seriously consider voting for unabashed peace and justice candidates.
To simplify: In battleground states, progressives should make sure their voting -- for Obama/Biden -- helps to keep the right-wing Republicans from winning the White House.
In the nearly 40 non-swing states where our vote has no impact on Obama vs. Romney, voters can wisely send a message of protest to Obama and the Democratic Party leadership -- over policies like militarism, Wall Street coziness, abuse of civil liberties, expansion of nukes, fracking and drilling -- by voting for a genuinely progressive candidate such as Jill Stein of the Green Party.
Noam Chomsky and other respected progressive leaders have supported this voting strategy for years. Chomsky commented this fall: "Between the two choices that are presented, there is I think some significant differences. If I were a person in a swing state, I’d vote against Romney/Ryan, which means voting for Obama because there is no other choice. I happen to be in a non-swing state, so I can either not vote or -- as I probably will -- vote for Jill Stein."
So make your vote count: If you live in a close state, defeat Romney and his right-wing policies by voting Obama/Biden. If you live in a state where the outcome will be lopsided, you’re in a position to send a loud and clear vote of protest against Obama policies you oppose.
RootsAction founding endorser and peace activist Daniel Ellsberg emphatically supports strategic voting. He lives in an overwhelmingly Democratic state and plans to vote for a peace and justice candidate. Of such candidates, Ellsberg says: "I agree with everything they say -- except when they say 'vote for me' in a swing state."
You can read Ellsberg's essay on the subject here.
Please forward this message far and wide.
Action for a Progressive Future (the organization that runs RootsAction) is a nonprofit, progressive, public policy advocacy group that will engage citizens in the democratic process and help make sure legislators hear their voices.