In our inaugural year, we engaged with fellow South Asian Americans to successfully flip two seats in the CA-Congress from red to blue.
Flip the House
- Elect Josh Harder in District CA-10 (defeat Jeff Denham)
- Elect TJ Cox in District CA-21 (defeat David Valadao)
- Elect Andrew Janz in District CA-22 (defeat Devin Nunes)
They See Blue, founded in July 2018 by four of our members, were galvanized into action by the catastrophic election result of 2016. Each of our co-founders had followed their own path into activism after the 2016 election. Using their collective experience, they sprung into action to inspire fellow South Asian Americans to take part in grassroots activism and constructive endeavors. They See Blue's first meeting was held in early August 2018 with a group of like-minded friends to kick off the movement.
For the 2018 midterm election, They See Blue had a modest goal: to help flip the House of Representatives from red to blue. We identified three Republican-held House seats in California’s Central Valley (CA-10, CA-21 and CA-22) and decided to support the Democratic candidates in those races: Josh Harder, TJ Cox and Andrew Janz.
Over the next three months, They See Blue executed a detailed plan to flip these seats, including fundraising, Get Out The Vote efforts such as canvassing, phone banking, text banking, and voter registration, and paid media such as mailing flyers, and radio spots. They See Blue realized that our voter engagement efforts were much more successful with fellow South Asians, because of the established instant rapport due to shared background and cultural identity. This “secret sauce” really helped us maximize our results in voter awareness and engagement.
As the word spread about our group and our unique approach, our mission began to resonate with the South Asian community in the Bay Area, CA. We grew to over 200 members and reached out to thousands of South Asian voters in Central Valley, CA. Our efforts bore fruit: Josh Harder and TJ Cox won by narrow margins. The third candidate, Andrew Janz, running against Devin Nunes narrowed the gap by 30 percentage points, a significant difference from the previous election (5% vs. 35%). The CA-21 race was called nearly a month after the election and TJ Cox came from behind to win by only 862 votes!
Our efforts were recognized by all the three candidates we supported, and they sent us personal videos expressing appreciation for our work to get them elected. You can find the videos here. We were heartened and energized by our success in the 2018 election. In 2020, we are scaling our South Asian-to-South Asian outreach model to the national level!