Campaign Without A Candidate


The “Campaign without a Candidate,” an initiative of Taking Action Suffolk County (“TASC”), was created to build an infrastructure outside of a traditional candidate-based campaign.  Our work is not about electing any one person, but is about building a strong Democratic base that votes consistently. 

We need to build that infrastructure NOW if we are going to take back NY01 in 2018, but it needs to be built with a strong enough foundation that we can continue to win elections in 2019, 2020, 2021 and beyond.


We're In Crisis Mode

During the next six months Lee Zeldin and the Republicans will be galvanizing voters  and fundraising. He’s already raised more than $1.3 million and his campaign is well underway.

But on the Democratic side, there will be a highly contested primary election, and by the time a candidate is selected on June 26, Zeldin will have had an enormous head start.  We can’t let that happen.

Between January and June, our primary candidates will be focused exclusively on getting the votes of “high-propensity” voters—those Democrats who regularly vote in primaries and congressional elections. That’s what the candidates should be doing during the primary season.

But reaching those high propensity voters will not be enough to defeat Zeldin in November!

In order to win, we must engage “low propensity” Democratic voters and non-voters, and we must begin that process NOW. Waiting until we have a candidate in late June is just too late!

How Can We Win?

We will use the same approach that PACs and super PACs like Swing Left and Priorities USA are using in other congressional districts. NY01 deserves the same kind of support!

That’s what Campaign without a Candidate was created to do.

Together, we will identify, engage and mobilize the 18,000 additional NY01 voters we need to elect our Democratic candidate in November—no matter who wins the primary in June—through paid media, canvassing, social media, and volunteer outreach.

The Campaign without a Candidate will focus on data driven, targeted voter outreach through:

  • Canvassing (paid and volunteer)
  • Polling
  • Digital & Social Media
  • Direct Mail
  • Targeted Messaging


Target Audience

The Campaign without a Candidate will target Democrats who have not voted in the past two off-year elections and tend to vote only in presidential elections, as well as people who are not registered to vote at all. The key demographics we need to engage:

  • Millennials
  • Students
  • Registered but inactive Democrats
  • People of Color


No Time To Waste

Political science research shows that in order to get low propensity voters to pull the lever for a candidate, they must be reached 7-11 times on issues of importance to them. To effectively deliver that targeted messaging, we need a well-organized and amply funded infrastructure that is not dependent on any candidate and that remains in place before, during and after elections.


What's At Stake

  • If we don’t flip NY01 and win the House, Trump and the Republicans can continue to deliberately destroy the environment, trample on civil liberties, ignore the constitution, and threaten the very foundations of our Democracy.
  • If we lose NY01 again, there is a real danger that after the 2020 census, NY02 and 03 could become “slam dunk” Democratic and NY01 surrendered to the Republicans for the foreseeable future.  We are concerned that Albany, will redraw the congressional boundaries by taking Democratic areas of NY01 like Bellport and Stony Brook and adding them to NY02 and NY03, respectively.
  • An investment in Campaign without a Candidate will benefit Democrats well beyond the 2018 congressional race. It will create the kind of infrastructure that will produce future Democratic victories in elections throughout our district, from towns to countywide elections, as well as state and national elections.


Help Us Turn CD-1 Blue

Support the Campaign without a Candidate and TASC by choosing to invest in a way that makes sense for you.

$20,000: Social Media Campaign—help us create videos, ads and pay for us to share them via social media

$12,000: Printed Materials to be distributed by canvassers, at events, and through progressive organizations

$10,000: Volunteer Outreach and Coordination for 3 months (We need this for at least 9 months)

$5,000: Pay for a paid canvasser to speak to 1,250 voters one time (We need to speak to $18,000 three times)

$1,500: Pay for Digital Advertising for 3 months (We need this for at least 9 months)

$600: Pay for One Paid Canvasser for a month (We need approximately 175 donations at this level)