These debates unfortunately remain one of the last redoubts of hazy gut-based analysis and decision-making in politics, but that’s all about to change. Primary Colors will bring a Moneyball approach to this guessing game, and help progressive activists target their resources on the lowest-value members in the lowest-risk districts.
How our Scoring System Works
Our new scoring system, launching in just a few weeks, will assign each Democratic member of Congress a primary score between 0 and 10. The higher the score, the more deserving of a primary challenge. Check out the worst-of-the-worst now at our just-launched teaser site, and sit tight for much more on our full site along with an interactive map and the three other scores that comprise the primary score dropping later this summer.
We arrive at these primary scores through a two-step process: First, by weighting and averaging various partisan scores like DW-Nominate, Progressive Punch, and National Journal, we get a very clear picture of each member’s voting habits. Then we compare that value to other members representing similar districts in the current Congress. This is crucial, since members aren’t being judged against some woolly progressive ideal. A Democrat representing a district with a D+4 partisan lean is compared to other Democrats in D+4 districts — and the more conservative they are than those colleagues, the higher their primary score. This, along with the rest of our methodology, creates an algorithm which allows activists to find out where they can replace Democrats too conservative for their state or district with real progressives — with little to no fear of losing to said seat to Republicans.
How Primary Colors Will Help Democratic Activists
These scores will be updated on a weekly basis in response to new votes in Congress, and PC’s daily blog will keep you up to date on movements in our numbers, and take a closer look at some of the targeted members and their districts. We’ll also be rolling out a suite of tools for activists to draft primary challengers in targeted districts, sign up to volunteer for campaigns, and donate money to challengers.
Check out our teaser site and sign up to see the 58 Democrats who are delivering the lowest value for progressives. And stay tuned for the full Primary Colors site, dropping at the end of the summer!