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View Diary: It wasn't just gerrymandering. (42 comments)

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  •  This is what I was looking for (13+ / 0-)

    How many Republicans ran unopposed, or with weak Democratic candidates? Gov. Dean was on the right track with his 50-state strategy, and we turned away from it at all but the Presidential level to our detriment.  In 2006, he worked to find a credible candidate for every race, no matter how hopeless it seemed.  As a result, we were able to take advantage when Mark Foley's candidacy imploded over the Page scandal.  As I recall, there were several other races where we were able to take advantage of a sudden weakness in the Republican race because we had strong democratic candidates. As a result, we took the House that year, when we weren't expected to.

    In 2012 the OFA field organizers were, for the most part, incredibly effective in turning out support for the president. But at least in the state where I worked, there was very little coordination between OFA and the Senatorial and Congressional campaigns.  In the (fairly swing) district where I worked, we won all three races, but in a neighboring district we only won the Senatorial and Presidential races.  Granted, incumbency plays a big role.  But a really strong candidate and tight coordination of the campaigns could have taken us a lot closer to a win, and might have put us over the finish line.

    Of course another issue is building a farm team of lower-level elected officials who can be ready to run as effective Federal candidates.  We need to learn from Republicans on this.  But avoid learning their less-savory tricks...

    The past 50 years we: -Ended Jim Crow. -Enacted the Voting Rights Act. -Attained reproductive rights (contraceptive & abortion). -Moved toward pay equity. Republicans want to take our country back. I WON'T GO BACK!

    by petesmom on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:25:20 PM PST

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    •  Weak candidates is a relative term (11+ / 0-)

      My district is represented by an extreme right-winger, way out of step with his new district.  (They actually made his district bluer-but-still-light-red in order to protect some other incumbents and screw over some incumbent Dems.)  The Dem candidate was solid.  Deep roots in the area, involved in the community, good positions on most of the issues.  But he'd never run for Congress before.  He's not a multimillionaire.  And he was running against a tea-party darling.  So the amount of support he got from institutional Dems above the local level was approximately zero.

      Despite that, he was out campaigning damned near every single day for 8 months.  In every corner of a ridiculously shaped district.  Accepting every invitation, speaking to every civic and community group, even in the deep red parts of the district.  Attending every county fair, festival, parade, and all that crap.  Shaking every hand he could find.  He worked his ass off, but there was never any real money, and that's not something you can win without.  His retail politics were there, but the messaging and campaign infrastructure really weren't.  But he's probably running again in 2014, so maybe this time he'll see some support.

      Was he a weak candidate?  Well, in some ways, yes.  He couldn't self fund.  He didn't have national or state party support.  And he lost by a pretty big margin.  But in all the areas that he could control, I'd say he was a pretty strong candidate.  I guess we'll see in 2 years.

      "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

      by libdevil on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:35:00 PM PST

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      •  See, this is what I'm talking about re: 50 state (12+ / 0-)

        strategy.  In '06, Gov. Dean made a point of funding just this sort of candidate.  That's how we were poised to take advantage when Rep. Foley imploded in Fl.  He caught a ration of shit from folks like James Carville and Rahm Emmanuel, who wanted him to funnel all the DNC's cash to "safe" races. But he insisted on funding candidates everywhere - maybe not as generously as the "safer" candidates, but he didn't starve them.  And we took back the House that year.

        The past 50 years we: -Ended Jim Crow. -Enacted the Voting Rights Act. -Attained reproductive rights (contraceptive & abortion). -Moved toward pay equity. Republicans want to take our country back. I WON'T GO BACK!

        by petesmom on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:20:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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