Crooked Media, the cherished podcast network of liberal America, acknowledges that its audience may not be eagerly anticipating the forthcoming presidential election.
Nevertheless, the media company, founded by former key advisors to Barack Obama and renowned for producing shows such as Pod Save America, Pod Save the World, and Strict Scrutiny, has devised a strategy to galvanize its listeners for the 2024 electoral showdown. Their plan involves shifting the focus to down-ballot races.
The political arm of Crooked Media, operating under the umbrella of Vote Save America, a combination of a PAC and nonprofit organizations with similar nomenclature, is unveiling the 2024 edition of its voter engagement initiative.
This program aims to highlight consequential congressional races and ballot initiatives throughout the nation, a move seen as an acknowledgment that many Democratic voters lack enthusiasm for the prospect of another showdown between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Shaniqua McClendon, the Vice President of Political Strategy at Crooked, expressed awareness of the waning excitement among the electorate. In an interview, she stated, “We know people aren’t super excited.
We know people have frustrations with certain things coming out of the administration, and definitely are frustrated that we’re having to vote between Donald Trump and Biden again. But in the face of that, we are really honing in on reminding people of the stakes.”
Vote Save America’s past mobilization efforts, which predominantly target politically engaged millennials among their listeners, have successfully raised $55 million since 2018.
The upcoming 2024 campaign includes direct fundraising for candidates and causes, recruiting volunteers for affiliated organizations, and deploying voter registration tools. Promotion for this initiative will be disseminated through the network’s podcasts, newsletters, and social media platforms.
Beyond the presidential race, Democrats face challenges in maintaining control of the Senate, while control of the House hangs in the balance.
Additionally, various ballot initiatives, including those related to abortion rights, underscore the significance of down-ballot races. Crooked Media and Vote Save America’s message to their audience is clear: these elections matter, and active participation can bring about tangible change.
The focus on down-ballot races also sheds light on an underlying internal conflict within the Democratic realm. A generational divide exists between a faction of operatives, activists, and voters who emerged during the Obama era and harbor concerns about Biden’s 2024 strategy, and an older-school Biden team confident in replicating its victory over Trump four years ago.
Crooked Media’s prior efforts evolved into a substantial grassroots mobilization, raising over $55 million for candidates and causes since 2018 and encouraging listeners to contribute over 211,000 volunteer shifts for various campaigns and groups.
Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to Obama and co-host of Pod Save America, emphasized the importance of Vote Save America’s work in motivating and exciting the audience, offering a refreshing perspective amid repetitive election messaging.
McClendon disclosed that the organization is yet to decide where supporters’ funds will be directed, emphasizing the importance of allocating resources to “impactful” areas. She cited examples from previous election cycles, such as excluding Amy McGrath in 2020, despite her campaign’s viral popularity, and not focusing on Mark Kelly due to his substantial existing funds.
Vote Save America benefits from an engaged audience, primarily consisting of Democrats and Biden voters, who require minimal persuasion to cast their ballots. Instead of the traditional get-out-the-vote approach, the program can concentrate on encouraging donations and volunteerism, leveraging the commitment and sense of community among its audience.