2020 Democratic candidates onstage at televised debates.
2020 Democratic candidates onstage at televised debates.
Image: New York Times, June 28, 2019

Candidates actively running

Kamala Harris:
→ 5,265,653 [2016, US Senate, California] (latest and best)

Elizabeth Warren:
→ 1,633,371 [2018, US Senate, Massachusetts] (latest)
→ 1,696,346 [2012, US Senate, Massachusetts] (best)

Amy Klobuchar:
→ 1,566,174 [2018, US Senate, Minnesota] (latest)
→ 1,854,595 [2012, US Senate, Minnesota] (best)

Michael Bennet:
→ 1,370,710 [2016, US Senate, Colorado] (latest and best)

Cory Booker:
→ 1,043,866 [2014, US Senate, New Jersey] (latest and best)

Joe Sestak:
→ 513,221 [2016, US Senate, Pennsylvania, Democratic primary] (latest, loss)
→ 1,948,716 [2010, US Senate, Pennsylvania] (best, loss)

Joe Biden: → 257,484 [2008, US Senate, Delaware] (latest and best, as nominee) →…


OMG, it’s the last week of the campaign! After two excruciating, dispiriting, enraging, nauseating, depressing, sleepless years of Republican dumpster fire, it’s almost our chance to vote out the spineless toadies — and vote in a blue wave of incredibly talented, capable, experienced, energetic Democrats to Congress, governorships, AGships, and state legislatures across this great, if currently stumbling, U.S. of A.

But let’s not take any chances. My fellow Americans, let us rededicate ourselves to not screwing this up.

So: Here’s what you can do over the next week to make sure Democrats win as many seats as possible.

Know Your Ballot, Candidates, and Polling Place

  • Go…


Or, The Importance of Overton Defenestration

So I’m speaking today at The Economist’s Open Future Festival, on a panel with Anil Dash and Monika Bickert to debate whether technology is still a force for progress. Normally, this wouldn’t merit a Medium post, but one of the other individuals on the program turns out to be a ringleader of the alt-right, that collection of white supremacists, nativists, misogynists, and unabashed anti-Semites. That individual is Steve Bannon.

Despite that, I’m showing up for the panel. Here’s my reasoning.

How Awful is Steve Bannon?

Very awful. If you’ve forgotten who is, just click on some links.

Should The Economist Have Invited Bannon to Speak at their Festival?

No. It’s a mistake for The Economist to…


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We are thrilled to announce the 2018 Higher Ground Labs accelerator cohort! These 13 start-ups address a broad range of challenges in politics, ranging from polling solutions to psychographic mapping to persuasion testing to volunteer engagement. Selected from a pool of over 90 applications, these companies are strong signals of what is possible for progressive election and issue campaigns.

In addition to the capital investment they get, these new portfolio companies will participate in a four-month program designed to speed and strengthen product and business development, and to promote connections to potential clients and customers. The program centers around monthly…


(Not This Crowd)

The video from a fun Internet policy event at New America this week is now online. Yes, we had keynotes from Senator Amy Klobuchar, focusing on her legislative effort to advance transparency and accountability in online political ads, and Rep. Ted Lieu, outlining Constitutional and other interests as we examine the platforms’ responsibilities around online speech. Interesting questioning and dialogue ensued, featuring ceciliakang, Dan Gillmor, Jennifer Daskal, and Kate Klonick.

And then, starting at 1:11:05, came the epic panel that, obviously, literally everyone in Washington has been buzzing about ever since. …


Or: “Next time, let’s bring a battle droid to the knife fight.”

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As we launch Higher Ground Labs, we figured it might be useful to set out our thesis. Here’s why we think our approach — investing in and actively accelerating for-profit startups that build tools, data, analytics, and other technologies for Democratic campaigns — can help progressives win new majorities up and down the ballot.

In the decade before 2016, national Democrats benefitted from a key competitive advantage: We had better campaign tech. …


As this dyspeptic campaign year lurches across the finish line, the national mood seems to be one of misery. If you’re a Hillary Clinton supporter (like me), your confidence in her victory remains strong, but your enthusiasm may have been dampened by the inescapable media cacophony about EMAILS!, a.k.a., the nothingest nothingburger in the history of campaign scandals.

Lost amid this sea of trivializing, false-balance, false-equivalence, double-standard campaign coverage that is “vacuous, policy-free, and corrosive to democracy” is one big thing: public policy. It’s a shame the press has paid so little attention to policy in 2016, because whichever person…


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When people write on Medium, a big part of the reason is because the Medium platform delivers interested and engaged readers. While the act of writing can often be lonely, the payoff is a kind of communion with one’s readers, often embodied in the active dialog that a thoughtful piece sparks. There’s a dizzying array of remarkable writing across a vast range of topics on Medium every day. To do right by those who write on Medium, we want to build for them large and engaged audiences of readers using all the tools and capabilities at our disposal, both on…


Sure, Bernie Sanders has some valuable things to say about the often-ignored structural forces that are accelerating longstanding negative trends in the United States: the shrinking of our middle class, the hardening of barriers to economic and social mobility, the growing chasm of income inequality, the slow evaporation of educational pathways to opportunity, and the discernable tilt of policymaking toward the economic and cultural interests of the wealthy and well-connected, who benefit from a system that feeds on their campaign cash and is populated by their socio-economic peers. …


Red Alert: It’s Time to Mobilize, Brasileiros

In recent years, Brazil has gotten enormous respect worldwide for its pioneering Civil Rights Framework for the Internet, commonly known as the Marco Civil. …

Andrew McLaughlin

Partner/co-founder: Higher Ground Labs. Venture fellow: betaworks. Board: Access Now, Public Knowledge. Nerd, really. <http://andrew.mclaughl.in>

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