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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: I'll bet Scott Brown wishes he could un-say this (158 comments)

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  •  I don't think he's dramatically (2+ / 0-)
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    bear83, Setsuna Mudo

    unpopular in the state. He seems to be...well, in a position where most Democrats end up. That's not a bad starting point.

    I'm also of the mind set that simply being in a state and doing the things candidates and campaigns do helps more than it hurts, unless we are talking about someone really, truly, universally unpopular. Given that there's a big cross over between those who would vote for Obama and those who would vote for a Democratic senate candidate AND the fact that there's a lot of untapped potential in the state, particularly in the biggest and most relatively Democratic counties, that's a big plus.

    •  I think the point is (1+ / 0-)
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      MichaelNY

      Obama starts and ends as a generic Dem in Texas.  He's unlikely to have improved his standing there since 2008 when he got 44%, so i guess I'm wondering how he helps down ballot.  Almost all of the contested statewide races in 2008 saw Dems get pretty much 43-45%, so its basically talking about getting more people to vote generic Dem.  That isn't really an exciting proposition for voters.

      I also tend to think the geography doesn't help Dems that much.  If Obama runs in the state, it will be to run up margins in large urban areas and try to capture the youth vote in college towns.  As discussed in prior threads the college towns are a brilliant plan for Dems in Texas, but I don't think the urban margins mean much with actually building the party that much (e.g. Do I care if the mayor of Houston wins by 15% or 20%?).

      I also would rather see the Dems build in the college towns from the bottom up rather than top-down.  Many such areas are competitive Dems are just running bad candidates and campaigns.  Having Obama at the top doesn't fix that.

      •  See my example below. (0+ / 0-)

        It's such an usual state in that it's big and demographically friendly to us and in addition has very low voter turn out. Like I  think I illustrated below, you could add a full point to his total from Harris County alone under pretty reasonable assumptions.

        As for getting more people to vote for Democrats more often, I think we lose sight of the fact that note every person is politically motivated in any particular way. Even people who vote frequently don't always do do it, for whatever reason. Like doing a lot of things in life, they need to be motivated and essentially poked and prodded to do so. We haven't done any of that in recent times in much of the state at the presidential level, so it's hardly fair to say it can't happen. Perhaps I am wrong and it just won't occur, but it's not clear right now if that is true. And while it's not going to make a big difference if the mayor of Houston or some other city wins by a bigger margin, the effects of a thorough campaign can spread. It's not as if the Democrats would target just Harris County and ignore counties like Fort Bend, Montgomery, and Brazoria, after all.

        As far as the candidates go, we do need good candidates to run good campaigns. I couldn't agree more. Having the opposite isn't going to be erased by a helpful Obama campaign, which means we won't win unless we are talking about the mother of all implosions on the part of the Republicans. But once we get the pieces in place, an assist from a larger, more organized, more comprehensive campaign flush with resources could prove pivotal.

      •  I don't understand this (4+ / 0-)
        I don't think the urban margins mean much with actually building the party that much

        But... that's where the people live. You need to run up the score in the cities if you want to win the state. Whereas there are just not many college towns in Texas. There's Austin, which is already heavily Democratic and politically engaged; and there's College Station, which is maybe the most conservative college town in the country. And that's about it.

        But the real key to Texas is unlocking the Hispanic vote. That's where there's enormous room to improve turnout, on top of enormous numerical population growth.

        •  Pretty easy (1+ / 0-)
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          MichaelNY

          It doesn't build a statewide party to improve margins in Dallas and Houston.  Sure it helps win statewide, but that's not what I'm focusing on.  I'm looking at lower level party building.  

          Having Obama run up margins in Houston or wherever won't help us make a big impact on building the party in Denton.

          •  It's part of the process, but not all of it. (0+ / 0-)

            No doubt getting people to vote for Democrats will involve getting people to like what they do when in office. If we elect a Democratic governor or senator, or less directly more individuals in areas where we aren't doing that badly to help increase our numbers, we can have a more positive effect. Perhaps this will lessen the burn of having a "D" next to a person's name in a redder part of the state.

            There's also the possibility of a statewide win helping to encourage other candidates to run and then win.

            •  Statewide is a bridge too far (1+ / 0-)
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              MichaelNY

              If the focus continues to be on statewide races it won't happen in our lifetime.  There are mitigating factors at work, and are actually increasing GOP performance at a time when Demographics would say they should be going in the other direction

              -White population going GOP in bigger numbers
              -White population also growing, just not as fast as Hispanic
              -Latino population votes GOP 33% of the time

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