Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. In 2006 and 2008 I advocated for pushing hard and with optimism in the elections to win big. In 2010 I advocated defending what we could from a more pessimistic stance.
For some time now my instincts have told me that this year can be more like 2006 and 2008 than like 2010. But only if we push hard for it. The polls have been shifting in our favor. When it comes to President Obama winning re-election, things keep looking better and better. When it comes to the Senate for awhile it was looking frighteningly like we would lose the Senate, and I KNEW that we couldn't let that happen and we really had a shot at keeping the Senate. Well now the polls are switching to our favor.
Look, anything can happen. But we have a smart, charismatic President leading our party this year and voters overall trust Democrats at least marginally better than Republicans. The combination, combined with hard work, could turn this year into a wave of Dem victories. Ideally that wave will turn Obama's re-election into a slam dunk, will mean possibly even a small gain in the Senate, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, will mean retaking the House. And, let's not forget, we have some Governorships to win as well so we minimize the number of states where we are fighting for labor rights, women's rights, etc. the way we have had to in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, etc.
If we want to turn the tide into a wave of big Dem wins...even win back the House, we have to work hard and smart. To this end I am going to be focusing on specific states that I consider critical. They are not the only important races, but they are the states where there is a combination of at least three critical races including Presidency, Senate, House and/or Governorship. I will focus on the candidates in those key races and also a couple of local Democratic Parties or organizations that I consider critical in the fight. These won't always be obvious ones. Getting out the vote in Democratic strongholds is obvious. I believe getting out the Democratic vote in districts that go Repub is just as important because often THAT can influence the overall vote totals, particularly for statewide offices, almost as much as getting out the obvious Democratic vote.
So what follows below the fold is my first entry in what will be a month's worth of diaries, each with a dedicated Act Blue Site, to try and push this year into another wave of Democratic, and in particular progressive, victories.
I begin with New Hampshire (and may feature it for a few days). Details below, or you can cut to the chase and donate through my WIN NEW HAMPSHIRE 2012 ACT BLUE SITE.
Not only is New Hampshire a standard swig state for the Presidency, we also have two important (and close) House races and a Governor's race. I will also note, in this year of increasingly virulent and regressive Republican attacks on women, all three critical NH races feature Democratic women: Maggie Hassan, Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster. Ann McLane Kuster in particular is a progressive champion and endorsed by Howard Dean's Democracy for America.
Here we go:
Maggie Hassan is our candidate for Governor of New Hampshire. We can see in the cases of Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, etc. the horrible damage Repub Governors can do to workers' rights, women's rights and gay rights. And Mitt Romney himself shows us that even supposedly "moderate" Repubs are catching the Teabagger Nutcase Bug in their ambition to win. We cannot let the Repubs take the Governorship in New Hampshire.
Maggie Hassan has been endorsed by the Women’s Campaign Fund, Carpenters Local 118, New Hampshire Iron Workers Local 7, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Council #35, Teamsters Local 633, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 131, United Steelworkers District 4 and many others.
Support Maggie Hassan by donating through my Win NH 2012 Act Blue Site.
TWO OF THE CLOSEST HOUSE RACES OF THE YEAR:
NH-1 is a swing district in a swing state and weakly held Repub district. This would be a great one to win. It currently leans slightly Repub, I think, but we are flipping this kind of race to lean Dem pretty quickly right about now. I think we can win this one, taking us one step closer to winning the House and helping win both the Presidency and NH Governorship.
Support Carol Shea-Porter by donating through my Win NH 2012 Act Blue Site.
Ann McLane Kuster
The NH-2 race leans Dem and is a probably Dem pick up. This not only would bring us one step closer to winning the House but also brings a solid progressive to the House. Endorsed by the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers New Hampshire, American Nurses Association, Democracy for America, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and many others.
Support Ann McLane Kuster by donating through my Win NH 2012 Act Blue Site.
TWO KEY NH COUNTIES:
EVERY county counts. I believe in contesting every town, every district, every county. But sometimes I find a local party organization that seems particularly critical. And I know from my own personal experiences how important local party organizations can be to getting out the vote and registering voters. I have chosen two Democratic County organizations in NH because they seem (from a distance at least) to have the organizational skills to get out the vote for Democrats and they both cover the NH-1 district that we need to fight harder to flip. And even if we lose NH-1, increasing the Dem voter turnout in all parts of that district will help win Presidency and Governorship.
So I urge people to give a little to:
Hillsborough County spans both NH-1 and NH-2 districts so is a key county for both Congressional races and for the Governorship. Extra effort in this county can help win the whole state.
Support the Hillsborough County Democratic Committee for GOTV efforts by donating through my Win NH 2012 Act Blue Site.
Carroll County is in the NH-1 district so is a key county in one of the closest races in the Country. Again, extra effort in this county can help win the whole state.
Support the Carroll County Democratic Committee for GOTV efforts by donating through my Win NH 2012 Act Blue Site.
TWO STATEWIDE ORGANIZATIONS:
I believe NH could be one of our next big wins for LGBT rights. Or at least is worth fighting for. Let's not forget that Iowa has so far outshone California on marriage equality, so we can't assume we should only focus on the supposedly liberal states. I think places like NH and Iowa have a sense of decency and fairness that will be as important as liberal values for winning the fight for equal rights for all. For that reason I include NH Stonewall Democrats.
Support the NH Stonewall Democrats by donating through my Win NH 2012 Act Blue Site.
I also believe in nurturing the next generation of Democrats. Young Democrats bring enthusiasm and idealism to any local party organization. Let's encourage involvement from Young Democrats.
Support the NH Young Democrats by donating through my Win NH 2012 Act Blue Site.
If we show some strong support for these candidates and organizations, we can make NH a big part of a Democratic wave of victory in 2012...AND help bring at least one Progressive champion to Congress while also helping strengthen LGBT rights in NH.
More such pages will follow, but I think this might be the most important one.