In 2008, we saw an historic election. Many, including myself, thought that we were turning a corner, entering a new era, ... pick your metaphor.
That didn't happen exactly. In 2010, after vicious obstruction, with the help of a ton of outside money and a vacuous mainstream media, the Republicans took back the House.
The big difference was turnout. When Barack was on the ticket, Democrats voted in hordes. When he wasn't ... not so much.
We just saw a wonderful outcome with Barack again (and for the last time). The turnout shocked the Republican pundits.
But what about 2014? Will we backslide again? If history is an indicator, the answer is yes. The batshit crazy Republican base will always show up. But the democratic coalition of the young, black, latino and women may not be as committed as they were on Tuesday. And the house will remain Republican for the second half of Barack's second term.
unless ... see over the squiggly
I found a blog article on Democratic Underground that hints at a simple solution to the Democratic midterm intensity problem.
The author, John Walker, shows that the youth vote (generally the biggest election wild-card) was much higher in states where marijuana legalization was on the ballot.
In seven battleground states where it wasn't on the ballot, the typical increase in youth vote over 2008 was 1-2%. In the three states where some sort of marijuana legalization was on the ballot, the youth vote jumped between 5 and 12% over 2008.
So here's the plan:
Democrats or democratic surrogates should make sure that some flavor of pot legalization is placed on every ballot in 2014.
Many (perhaps most) initiatives will lose. But young people will come out to vote, and if they know that Democrats are offering at least some moral support, they will vote for Democrats. In much larger numbers.
Who knows, perhaps more of these initiatives will win that I expect.
Just at thought.