Founded in August 2016, Our Revolution is a relatively new org. Its mission, as described by Newsweek at its launch, is "to revitalize American democracy by bringing millions of both working and young individuals into the political system; empower the next generation of progressive leaders; and elevate political consciousness by educating the public about issues confronting the country." The "Investigator"--let's call him Tig, for short--writes that the org's "goal was to get progressive candidates elected to Congress and also to push for certain ballot initiatives," a far more narrow representation of OR's mission than OR itself has ever offered. That very misleading framing is intentional. Tig's premise is that...
"Almost two years later now, I think it’s a fair assessment that Our Revolution has completely failed to get any important candidate or ballot initiative elected/approved."
...and it's much harder to make that claim if one examines the full scope of OR's activities, instead of just a narrow sliver specifically chosen to support that preordained conclusion. As it turns out, even the sliver doesn't support Tig.
"The list of candidates endorsed by our Revolution and often by Bernie Sanders in person, who have lost their primaries/ elections is ever growing... Important Our Revolution endorsed candidates one by one lose their elections/ primaries.... The list of Our Revolution endorsed candidates who all lost their elections is huge by now. So far, not a single important race has been won by OR... So far, the electoral power of Our Revolution seems to amount to 0,0%."
Of the OR-endorsed ballot initiatives, Tig is equally as dismissive:
"All the important ballot initiatives Bernie fought for in 2016 were rejected by the voters: from California’s proposition 61, to Colorado’s Amendment 69, which would have introduced single payer healthcare in Colorado (defeated by 79 to 21%)."
OR keeps track of its endorsements and its wins/losses. The information is arranged by year on OR's site--2016, 2017 and 2018, where the contests have only just started. Tig somehow declined to provide those links, and when one looks at OR's overall record, it's hardly this relentless failure Tig portrays. So far, slightly more OR-endorsed candidates have lost than won but that has as much to do with the campaigns it chooses as anything; OR backs grassroots progressives in many tough races, often in overwhelmingly Republican districts. OR-supported ballot initiatives have won more often than they've lost. From its launch, OR has endorsed 223 candidates in races that have, as of this writing, already played out. Of those, 101 won and 122 have lost. Of the 37 ballot initiatives backed by OR, 26 have won.
Tig offers some slick talk to justify his own conclusions. The slickest--and most jaw-dropping--is his declaration that he hasn't included in his assessment state and local races. "[T]his list does not include state senate or city council seats." OR backs grassroots candidates; its endorsements are primarily--and overwhelmingly--in state and local races. Tig is pretending to offer an appraisal of OR's record regarding candidates while ruling out from consideration nearly every candidate OR has endorsed. Tig contends that state and local races are entirely unimportant. "So far," he writes, "not a single important race has been won by OR," sentiment he restates throughout his article. Hilariously, he asserts that OR's endorsements in local races are just done by OR to game its success-rate. "OR tries to up its success number," he writes, "by listing city council and state senate candidates who would have won anyway, with or without OR’s help," the latter being an utterly empty claim that, like its direct opposite ("those candidates wouldn't have won without OR's endorsement"), could be made about every race (and, like Tig's version, wouldn't be entirely true in any race).
Ruling out these local races leaves Tig with a problem: a serious lack of material. When he wants to create an impressive-looking list of all those, as he defines it, "important" OR-backed candidates who failed to win in 2016 and 2017, there isn't much with which to work. His solution is to rattle off OR-backed U.S. House and Senate candidates who lost. He prefaces this with "to name just a few," but he manages to name nearly all of them. My quick scan found only one failed candidate in these categories that he missed. Even at this, he's forced to pad his list. Two of the candidates he includes--Arturo Carmona and Wendy Carrillo--both participated in the same very crowded race in California last year and OR didn't endorse either of them. Though Tig doesn't tell his readers this, at least three on his list were candidates in those local races Tig dismisses and says he isn't including; Dwight Bullard ran for state senate in Florida, Gabriel Costilla ran for state senate in Kansas and Vincent Fort ran for mayor of Atlanta. Then there's the other stuff Tig conceals from his readers. Nanette Barragan, Raul Grijalva, Rick Nolan, Marcy Kaptur, Pramilia Jayapal and Tulsi Gabbard all won U.S. House races with OR endorsements in 2016. Jimmy Gomez won one in a 2017 special election in California. Though these fall into his "important" category as he, himself, has defined it, Tig entirely fails to mention any of them, while insisting OR hasn't won "a single important race."
When Tig turns to 2018, he lists three unsuccessful U.S. House candidates (Tig misspells Marie Newman of Illinois as "Mary Newman"), plus a mayoral candidate in Burlington, Vermont, a judicial candidate in Wisconsin and a gubernatorial candidate in Illinois. He describes all of these as "important," which is refreshing, if utterly random. He then spotlights two races as "typical" of those in which Sanders and OR involve themselves, and his examples are... that same Burlington mayoral race and Wisconsin state supreme court race he'd already covered. While he mentions Newman, he declines to mention Chuy Garcia, the OR-backed U.S. House candidate in Illinois' 4th District, who won his primary and advanced to the general election in November. He also declines to mention Laura Moser, who advanced to the runoff for the Democratic nomination in Texas' 7th District. Texas and Illinois are the only two states that have so far held their primaries this year, which also informs Tig's effort to portray OR as a failure in 2018, so he doesn't tell his readers that either.
Tig insists voters have rejected every important ballot initiative endorsed by OR. OR-backed initiatives that have passed include marijuana legalization initiatives in Maine, Nevada and California, medical marijuana in Montana, Arkansas and Florida, minimum wage increasess in Washington, Maine and Kansas City, a proposition to defeat a roll-back of the minimum wage in South Dakota, ranked-choice voting in Maine, anti-Citizens United amendments in Washington and California, an expansion of voter registration in Alaska, campaign finance reform in South Dakota and so on. Readers can decide for themselves whether these are, as Tig would have it, entirely unimportant.
Tig freely assigns to OR ridiculous motives pulled straight from his own orifices. "[T]o hide their complete lack of electoral successes, Our Revolution now proceeds to support moderate Clinton/Obama Democrats and claims their victory as their own." What he calls "a Perfect example," capitalizing the word, is Randall Woodfin, who ran for mayor of Birmingham. Tig describes Woodfin as "the Alabama State Director of Hillary Clinton’s campaign." What Tig doesn't describe is Woodfin's populist "Putting People First" campaign, which was pretty must straight Bernie Sanders--fighting for infrastructure investment, tuition-free community college for the city's high-school graduates and a $15 minimum wage (Woodfin's director of field operations was a 2016 Sanders campaign veteran). OR endorsed Woodfin in May 2017 and, alongside the progressive Working Families Party, worked on his behalf for five months, providing, among other things, 70 volunteers and making thousands of phone calls--Bernie Sanders recorded robocalls for the campaign--and text messages. OR chief Nina Turner went to Birmingham twice to campaign on his behalf. Woodfin won. To Tig, all of this was merely "to hide [OR's] complete lack of electoral successes."
Tig insists that "even conservative politicians are endorsed" by OR "based upon personal relations with Nina Turner, OR’s president":
Tig is maybe a young fellow and doesn't know it but before his perhaps questionable turn as a Fox News guest, Dennis Kucinich--Tig misspells the name--held several elective offices, most notably 16 years spent in the U.S. Congress, where he racked up one of the most progressive records in the body. Absolutely nothing about his platform--which includes a $15 minimum wage, public financing of state elections, ending fracking, marijuana legalization, etc.--would ever be mistaken for "conservative" or, indeed, anything other than uncompromisingly progressive. While Tig may believe his mindreading capabilities are top-notch, one suspects these facts, not Samples' friendship with Nina Turner, are actually behind OR's endorsement of Kucinich."Dennis Cucinich who is running for governor in Ohio. There is literally nothing progressive about this candidate, who regularly goes on Fox News to defend Trump, who visited Assad in Syria and defended this mass murderer, and so on. Yet he won the endorsement of OR, most likely because his running mate (Tara Samples) is a close friend of Nina Turner."
"Another way to judge how OR is doing," writes, Tig, "would be to look at its fundraising. Unfortunately it is impossible to get any info on this due to the form OR has chosen: it is a 501(c)(4) organization, meaning there is no need to disclose any numbers/ facts regarding its fundraising." Setting up OR in this way did indeed prove controversial among Berniecrats but OR does voluntarily disclose any donor who gives more than $250 in a year.
Yeah, I got a good chuckle out of that one too.
Tig's project is a familiar one from Clintonites, declaring the death of all things Bernie Sanders:
"Bernie’s electoral appeal never existed. Not in 2016 during the primaries, and not in 2016–2018 during down ballot races.
Tig's bolding. The Harvard/Harris poll Tig mentions there has, of late, become a regular target of Clinton cultists, as it has shown, month after month, that Sanders is the most popular active politician in the U.S.. Tig, following the established talking-points, references 538's pollster ratings, which do indeed give Harris Interactive a C- but that's based on a relatively small average error of 5.5%--not enough to matter in this particular business--and those 538 ratings are, in any case, long out of date--the site to which Tig links makes clear they haven't been updated since August 2016, nearly 2 years. The Harvard/Harris collaboration began in 2017. The "sleazy" Harris is one of the longest-established pollsters in the U.S.--55 years and counting--and the "sleazy" Harvard is, well, you get the picture. Other pollsters rarely poll on Sanders' popularity now--fill in one's favorite speculation as motive for this--but when they still still did, their findings matched the then-contemporary Harvard/Harris numbers within a few points. In January, when both H/H and Quinnipiac polled on Sanders; there was only a 5% difference in their results (with Quinnipiac showing a larger number of "don't know" answers than should have been the case). In February, even H/H mysteriously stopped including Sanders in its polls.
Tig despises Sanders so badly, he rhetorically links him to Trump more than once. He begins a sentence "Since November 2016, when Bernie was all too ready to start cooperating with Trump..." He rails against "bad unprofessional journalism... that, as was the case with the constant coverage of Donald Trump, wins by the suggestion Bernie is still a viable candidate." Tig can't stand the thought. He keeps insisting Sanders and OR are dead letters. "[T]he whole Bernie myth is basically history," as if the passion with which he clearly wishes to believe that could, itself, make it true.
Alas for Tig, nothing about his examination of an org that has yet to function through even one entire election cycle is going to convince anyone.
 In the 2018 cycle to date, only two states (Texas and Illinois) have held their primaries but Tig writes, "While the 2018 midterms are slowly approaching and while not every primary has been held, I think it's time to conclude that Our Revolution never accomplished much. Its candidates don't win, Bernie’s endorsement seems more like a kiss of death for candidates than anything else..."
 Tig suggests OR's "fundraising cannot be very impressive when we learn that OR could only contribute a measly 900 dollars to James Thompson's [2017 congressional] campaign [in Kansas], while for example Daily Kos contributed millions of grassroots dollars to Thompson." Tig's alleged source for the latter claim is a Huffington Post article that--what a surprise--doesn't say that. The actual amount Kos raised for Thompson was $143,000, most of it at the last minute. Progressive groups across the board underestimated Thompson.
 At the same time, many polling outlets poll on Donald Trump's popularity, and in evaluating H/H, one can match its findings against its contemporaries. The most recent H/H poll, conducted from 27-29 March, puts Trump's approval at 39%. At that time, YouGov had Trump at 39%, Morning Consult had him at 42%, Gallup at 39%, Ipsos at 40% and so on.