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There's no denying that Democrats came up short in last night's recall elections. It can hurt to come so close and still fall short, but we won some great victories last night and we should be proud of the work we did in Wisconsin and all across the country as part of this campaign.

We didn't back down when Scott Walker and his right-wing Republican legislature launched a war on working families. We fought back and we took the fight to them.

Last night, we were fighting on Republican ground. These were districts that elected Republican Senators in 2008, a year when Democrats swept the state.

We stood up for our core values. We never compromised on our belief that people have a right to organize and that Republicans were attacking that basic right.

We were told we couldn't win these Republican districts. We were told our values wouldn't resonate with conservative voters. We overcame all the odds to win two seats last night and came very close to winning a third, proving that there are Democrats everywhere and there are people everywhere who share our progressive values.

Democrats standing up for their core values and running to win in every district of every state, even so-called "Republican" districts -- That is what a 50 state strategy looks like and this is proof that we can win with one.

Yes, we came up short in taking back the Wisconsin Senate last night, but we went up against everything the right wing had to offer and proved that people power can beat big corporate money, even in "red America."

If 2012 looks anything like last night -- with Democrats standing up for their core values, with candidates running to win everywhere, and with great grassroots campaigns scoring major victories in Republican strongholds, then I look forward to next November.

I hope you'll join me and Democracy for America in building that 50 state campaign and working to score many more progressive victories in the months and years to come.

Originally posted to Gov Howard Dean MD on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, A Fighting Chance, and Howard Dean 2016.

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