We’ve already won.

Conventional wisdom says it is risky to declare victory before polls close, but here it goes: independent candidates won in 2018.

I mean all of them individually, and our movement collectively.

Here’s why: Every vote earned by an independent is a “win” in itself –– because that vote likely came from someone who never had a chance to vote for an independent before and who otherwise would have to choose which of the two parties to vote against.

Every vote won by an independent is a win for the cause of a better politics that puts people over party. Every vote won by an independent represents an American who made a decision to cast their ballot based on their hope for a reimagined politics for the future, rather than their fear of one party or the other in the present.

Every single vote for an independent is a win for our movement –– and the number of votes won by independents is growing, not shrinking.

That’s why, in our 2018 Election Tracker you can follow tonight, the first and most important metric we’re tracking is not how many candidates get elected, but how many votes those candidates collectively won.

We chose paving a new path in politics not because it was easy, but because it is necessary. No one claimed sweeping electoral victory would happen overnight. Let’s remind ourselves: the Democrats and Republicans have been at this for the last 164 years and have worked throughout that time to make it as difficult as possible for new competition to challenge their hold on power.

Our movement is just getting started. Our time will soon come.

For some independent candidates, it will be tonight. For others, not yet. But we are closer now to a serious and sustainable third force in our politics than we were yesterday, and closer in 2018 than we were in 2016.

Every vote will help us get there.

Every vote is a win.

That’s something we can all celebrate tonight – before a single return is in.

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