This year, state-based grassroots issue advocacy organization Americans for Prosperity (AFP) flexed its muscle, both in New Hampshire and nationwide, causing a significant political shakeup among legislators who voted for more government spending and regulations.
According to Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire (AFP-NH) Grassroots Director Ross Connolly, the organization employed a dedicated army of grassroots activists to influence issues of economic freedom:
“Our efforts to hold politicians accountable for supporting Obamacare Medicaid expansion or being against pro-job growth initiatives such as Right to Work all centered around a large, local and dedicated volunteer base doing the hard work of talking directly to citizens about these issues. The end result of thousands of doors knocked and tens of thousands of phone calls, was these issues becoming a top concern for citizens across the state, and also legislators who realized how important these issues were to their constituents.”
New Hampshire state legislators targeted over anti-liberty votes
AFP-NH targeted a slew of state-level legislators over their bad votes, and this pressure exerted by their constituents upset several races. State Senators Stiles, Boutin, Soucy, and Hosmer were targeted for their vote to expand Medicaid before the filing deadline to run for reelection. As a result, Stiles and Boutin elected not to run again, and Hosmer lost his election by 13 votes, though a recount has been scheduled.
In the house, representatives Cardon, Devine, Emerson, Danielson, Fields, Proulx, and Pierce took heat for their votes against right-to-work legislation, and those same plus LaChance, Matthews, Chase, and Speaker Jasper were targeted for their votes for Medicaid expansion. Of those 11, three (LaChance, Cardon, and Devine) lost their elections, and Fields reversed his decision on Right to Work. LaChance had been targeted with particular vigor as the prime sponsor of the Medicaid expansion bill, and Jasper is facing a four-way contest for his speakership.
AFP’s national stage impact even more devastating
On a national scale, AFP targeted several US Senate races, educating voters about the anti-liberty antics of their potential legislators. Of the eight races targeted (Masto-NV, Bayh-IN, Kander-MO, Ross-NC, McGinty-PA, Feingold-WI, Murphy-FL, and Strickland-OH), seven of those Senators lost their election. Only Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada, who received significantly less pressure than her fellow foes of liberty, won her election.
In New Hampshire, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte lost to current Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan. AFP did not engage in that race, likely because of Ayotte’s dubious voting record.
A nationwide grassroots activist army
AFP exerts its considerable influence of through use of a massive grassroots activist army. This year alone, its staff and volunteers contacted voters to the tune of 3.7 million doors knocked and almost 34 million calls made. According to Connolly, it’s this volume of person-to-person contact and focus on principle which results in a real impact:
“The proof of grassroots activism can be seen everywhere AFP has engaged nationally. This past year AFP has made over 33 million phone calls and 3.75 million doors knocked due in large part to a grassroots army that we have built over the past few years. At the federal level we engaged in multiple states to hold accountable anti-free market senate candidates and were able to bring their record to the attention of the voters. Seven of those Senate candidates were defeated. This is proof, you can make an impact, you just need to get involved and do the hard work of speaking directly to citizens.”