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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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

    by grapes on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:30:43 PM PST

  •  I can agree with this.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antooo, Chi

    and also, if a raising the minimum wage issue is on the ballot, that also attracts a lot of dem votes.

  •  let's just have Barack campaign for candidates (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grapes, Purple Priestess, Gooserock

    he did not in 2010  - it was too risky and the economy sucked. But if he wants any chance of both houses of congress for his last two years...he will get his butt out there and campaign!!

  •  Great idea! (Cough, cough) (0+ / 0-)

    Down with ditch weed.

    Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

    by RJDixon74135 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:39:38 PM PST

  •  Not the ideal solution. But there's another... (6+ / 0-)

    The thing with legalization is that you have to pick and choose your states, and the proposed law has to be written right. Legalization might fly in, say, Montana, where it could actually be a negative somewhere like Utah.

    The better way? Here's what you get on the ballot - expanded and guaranteed early voting. For example, in Florida, we all know Rick Scott cut early voting in half. Pennsylvania doesn't have much at all in the way of early voting. So you put a proposed law on the ballot that guarantees three weeks on early voting without needing a reason. When you look at the anger - and the fact that people protested the cutbacks in early voting by waiting in line (which thwarted the intent of the cutbacks), this is an issue that can gain traction among Democratic voters.

    •  You might be mistaken about Utah on this issue... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi

      in any case this is a brilliant strategy - as far as I can see - no downside.

      And now for something completely different...

      by subav8r on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:49:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I assume this on top of all the std methods (0+ / 0-)

      The Obama campaign was the most sophisticated and professional operation American politics has seen. I assume they wiill apply the same smarts in 2014.

      But a little extra juice can't hurt.

      Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

      by grapes on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:50:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deathtongue

    it's certainly worth a try.

    Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

    by Purple Priestess on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:10:55 PM PST

  •  More committed voters needed (0+ / 0-)

    It is a very weak party that must rely on voters who only vote when fired up. I grew up hearing my Republican parents say they voted in every election, and they usually did. I certainly do.
    I live in Houston, which is a low-voting city. I strive to convince my colleagues to talk up voting in every election. I get the impression that the local GOP does so.
    The turnout in 2008 in the Democratic primary in Houston was enormous. Not this year.
    Houston has an election every year. Municipal and school board elections are in odd-numbered years. Unfortunately a lot of people are not giving good people much incentive to run for office.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:45:27 PM PST

  •  I think this is an excellent idea. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grapes

    I suggest that there could be a variety of ballot measures that appeal to younger voters.  I would not be surprised if there was also more turn out in states where marriage equality was on the ballots.  Stopping tuition hikes in state schools could also be a issue that draws younger voters.  

    Also, there could be greater education about how much mid-term elections and local elections really matter.  I would have loved to have known this when I was in my 20's!

  •  Kentucky could make a lot (0+ / 0-)

    of money (tax revenue) from legal pot.  They already produce a lot of illegal pot anyway.  It would lose badly, but would be fun to try.

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