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  •  Yes, I can win the general. (9+ / 0-)

    In January, after the district lines were drawn, I told my team to figure out the real answer to question 0: could we win the district in a general against Koster? That question preceeded question 1, which was whether we could win the primary.

    We worked with our pollster to figure out the answer - not just for me, but for the other candidates as well. And what we found was that (a) the district is winnable by a Democrat; (b) Koster immediately consolidates Republican support, but gets essentially no support from Ds or Is; (c) in the head-to-head against Koster, I start out stronger than any other candidate, and there's a straightforward path to winning; and (d) I'm in a stronger position to win than any other D, both going in initially and even after we test the worse negatives they might throw at me.

    One of the tricky things about this race -- and frankly, about races all over the country, though it's not being discussed as much as it ought to be -- is modelling the turnout correctly. This won't be 2008; we can't assume that everyone who showed up in 2008 will show up this year. But we also shouldn't assume that none of those surge voters will show up. And what of the folks who voted R in 2010, but didn't show up before or since? Will they show up this year? The usual models for predicting turnout are too clumsy to work well this year.

    If we assume neutral turnout in WA-01, the district is 43-44% D, 43-44% R, and the rest is swing. But neutral turnout seems unlikely. The R's are unhappy about Romney, which will decrease their turnout some; they're also thrilled by Koster, which will increase their turnout some. And the D's? Well, if we run somebody like, say, Steve Hobbs, the Ds aren't going to be excited, and because WA isn't competitive in the Presidential and right now the governor's race doesn't seem to have people emotionally engaged, it probably costs us the seat due to turnout. (Hobbs would also have a HUGE name ID hill to climb; only single digits of people in the district have ever heard of him.) Our candidate will need to get D voters excited.

    Finally, with respect to 2006 and 2008, I'd remind you that I was running in a district which has never in it's history elected a Democrat; I was running against a guy who was famous nationally for his work on the Green River Killer case; and in addition to the normal $ spent against me, the R's spent literally millions in IE's in both years to keep me out of Congress. Despite that, I got a higher percentage of the vote than any Democrat in history in the district - before or since, and I got more raw votes than any Democrat in history - before or since. I got more votes in the Pierce County (red) portion of the district than any Democrat in history running for that seat. It was close enough both times that despite roughly $10 million in ads against me over the two cycles, we didn't know for a week either time who had won. I'd observe that the Rs didn't spend a dime in IE's against DelBene, despite her outspending Reichert roughly 2:1. She was never a threat to them.

    This is going to be a year in which Rove is likely to spend lots of money in WA-01. I'm the only candidate in the race who's ever had so much as a dime spent in IE's against me, and it's going to take tremendous on-the-ground organizing to overcome that; I'm also the only candidate in the race who has ever run a real grassroots field campaign.

    If there were another Democratic candidate fighting for Dem values who was in a stronger position to win, I'd get out of the way and do everything I could to help them. But everyone else - even DelBene, despite spending $4m on television 18 months ago - is in far worse shape against Koster than I am. I'm fighting to win, and all of the data we have seen clearly shows I'm in a better position to do so than anyone else.

    •  And Darcy, when you're up there on the Hill, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Darcy Burner, apip0115

      Don't let the Progressive Caucus go to sleep on us like they did during the health care reform fight!

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Tue May 01, 2012 at 01:34:06 PM PDT

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    •  You'll win, I just know it. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm going to have a whole lot less time to work on your campaign than I thought. I thought my CD was a safe seat, with an entrenched incumbent who had a lock on it. Only Norm Dicks is resigning, and now suddenly we have an open seat and the #1 Democratic candidate is a friend of mine, my state senator Derek Kilmer. There goes my time. I'll still do what I can in donations (limited, because I'm on disability) and phonebanking time, but most of my energy has to be spent on Jay Inslee and here at home in our local races, including CD 6.

      Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

      Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

      by Kitsap River on Tue May 01, 2012 at 03:14:01 PM PDT

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    •  Darcy, I've already donated once, but I'll do it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darcy Burner

      again. And for Jay.  I don't live in WA 1, yet!  I have acreage there that I'll build on after I retire from Hong Kong in 2015, but I do have the vote in Larsen's district (drat the new district lines go just north of us by a whisker) where I also have property.  You are absolutely right about enthusiasm.  I have never cared for Larsen, a so-called New Democrat (old corporate democrat, actually).  I've never given him a dime (but have given a piece of my mind several times, on things like FISA and healthcare).  But I sent you money in your WA 08 races, and have already for WA 1, and will do again, because I know you actually do have our backs instead of always the other way around.  Please keep up the fight.  

      Kossacks, Darcy is the real deal.  She's progressive to her bones.  Please help her out every way you can.  

      I just can't stand the thought of living in Koster's district, but I'd be so delighted to have you Darcy in DC!  And if you want or need to get the real scoop on China-Hong Kong developments (China is important to us in WA, even more than other states), check out or just look me up on Google (Michael DeGolyer).  We're so dependent on China's prosperity and stability in both WA 1 and Larsen's district--just look at the cross border sales of all the Canadians, many Chinese coming from Vancouver.  Lots of these folks who buy in WA are relatives from Hong Kong or Mainland China visiting their relatives living in Canada (I did a study for the Canadian gov last year that found nearly 200,000 people in Hong Kong who had Canadian citizenship, and even more with relatives in Canada.)  So Koster's Republican anti-immigrant, anti-foreigner stance could cost us dearly in WA 1.  I know personally of Hong Kong friends who no longer visit the US out of growing perceptions of hostility to foreigners.  Folks need to know this!  Koster would support Republican policies that will have, and do have, a direct impact on their incomes.

      Anyway, if you can take the primary, I'll be looking for your campaign materials and signs as soon as I set foot back in the states.  Hopefully, my wife and I can find time on our all too short summer break this year to give you a hand as well as a donation.  

      Come on folks, Darcy won't give us the come on and then sell us out like some other so-called progressive candidates have in the past.  She's stuck in there fighting for us even when her house was in ashes.  So if you can spare a dime for the real thing, do it for Darcy!

      America needs a UNION NEWS channel. We (unions) have the money, we have the talent. Don't buy 30 second time slots on corporate media, union leaders; fund your own cable news channel and tell the real story 24/7/365

      by monkeybrainpolitics on Tue May 01, 2012 at 03:26:03 PM PDT

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