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Photo of Alex Sink (D) seated, alone
No one could've predicted that promising austerity would depress Alex Sink's base turnout!
Last night, Republicans narrowly held, 48.4-46.6, a Florida congressional seat narrowly won by President Barack Obama by 50-49 in 2012.

It shouldn't be surprising that Democrats lost a seat Obama barely won despite his vaunted and massive turnout machine in a presidential year. As I've written time and time again, Democrats suffer from poor non-presidential year turnout among its most important base voter groups.

While there are no exit polls, there are clear signs of that base Democratic voter dropoff. Like this:

30% turnout in Sink districts, 50% in Jolly's. That's the story of FL-13. GOTV fail and blown opportunity for Dems. Time to regroup...
Or the fact that 43 percent of the early vote was Republican compared to 38 percent Democratic.

Given the GOP's effective 2010 gerrymandering, there aren't a lot of opportunities for Democrats to make gains, and this is a rare Obama district held by a GOPer. I'd be willing to bet that November turnout would make this a tighter race, and 2016 will be a whole other beast. The GOP is holding this district on borrowed time.

But given our anemic base turnout, Democratic candidates need to do a better job motivating them to vote. And in this case, I don't blame our base voters. When Democrats like Alex Sink run on austerity, cutting Social Security and bringing back the Simpson-Bowles Catfood Commission, well, no one is inspired. That has to be part of any effective base-mobilization strategy. Maybe promising to be a dick wins over some independent support (Sink did win the early vote despite the outsized GOP numbers), but that's as relevant as Mitt Romney winning independents by double digits in 2012. Democrats win by getting Democrats to the polls. There are more of us than there are of them. Period.

Still, last night wasn't a disaster:

Good lord, Pubs barely hold a seat in an overwhelming white district they've held for 4 decades and had to spend $5M to do it? We'll be fine
Add "southern" to "overwhelmingly white" and suddenly the GOP's victory last night looks that much less impressive. Borrowed time.

Originally posted to kos on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Florida and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If we get a decent candidate in Nov (14+ / 0-)

    we'll take the seat. Jolly can't run up much of an incumbency advantage in just eight months.

    Had this been november, we'd be discussing Congresswoman Sink's too-small victory, and the implications for how that would destroy Democrats in 2016. (I'm joking and parroting the villagers.)

    TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

    by Le Champignon on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:03:30 AM PDT

  •  Chance for a better Dem next time (19+ / 0-)

    There are two ways to look at this:

    #1)  The GOP won

    #2)  A Blue Dog Dem lost

    In the old IL-08, I was perfectly happy to see Joe Walsh beat Melissa Bean, because it got rid of a worthless Blue Dog, and I knew that Walsh wouldn't last long.  Two years latter, we got Tammy Duckworth.

    Maybe two years from now a real progressive will show up?  At least there's a chance for that now.

  •  I turned on the tv this morning and (10+ / 0-)

    the pundits said this election was a defeat for the democrat because of Obamacare. That hadn't entered my mind. My first thought when I heard the results was turnout and lack of it for democrats.

    It's a problem.

  •  Is there a better candidate in that district? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dclawyer06, Aquarius40, mconvente, CenPhx

    And if so, how do we get that person rolling. November isn't that far out.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:08:50 AM PDT

  •  Sink had a 2:1 money advantage (5+ / 0-)

    and was up in double digits in the polls.  

    What went wrong?

    •  This (8+ / 0-)

      is exactly why we lost this election, and exactly why we have a very strong chance to lose the elections in the fall.

      Does anybody else feel like the Dem pollsters (and kossacks) saying "everything will be just fine in November" are suffering from the same sort of self-fulfilling mathematical prophecy that Romney did a couple of years ago?

      The more vapid, lukewarm, establishment Democrats we have running for office in November, the more likely we are to lose the Senate. Not because they aren't better than the tea-partiers (they are).

      Non-progressive Democrats aren't enough to get the base to the polls. And the fear of a Republican takeover is also clearly not enough in and of itself to drive people to the polls.

      •  GOP are not appealing to the independents.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WRCousCous, defluxion10

        they're appealing to their BASE.

      •  We lost because we suck at GOTV in off-elections (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fladem, Heart of the Rockies

        Don't lose sight of the real issue.

        We have had other off-elections in the last year in which the Dem candidate was a "real Democrat".  We lost those, too.  For the same reason:  A poor job at getting Dem voters to turnout for the off-elections.

        Please help to fight hunger in the U.S. by making a donation to Feeding America.

        by MJB on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:07:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, but... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buffie, Dallasdoc

          part of the reason we suck at GOTV is exactly because we run so many anti-progressive RIDC candidates.

          Why go out to vote when it's between tweedle-dee (D) and tweedle-dum (R)? Especially when voting for the (D) means you are less likely to have a real progressive in that office, in the long run, if that very (D) wins.

          •  Again, we fail at GOTV for "real Dems", too. (0+ / 0-)

            Two Democratic state senators in Colorado were recalled and thrown out of office by the NRA last year.  They voted for better gun regulations in Colorado.  We should have had their backs.  We didn't.

            The San Diego mayor's election a few weeks ago was absolutely winnable.  David Alvarez is a "real Democrat" who had a hefty labor-council war chest.  He wasn't outspent 10:1 by the GOP moneymen.  Alvarez lost because turnout in Democratic precincts was shamefully low while turnout in GOP precincts was pretty good for an off-election.

            Please help to fight hunger in the U.S. by making a donation to Feeding America.

            by MJB on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:46:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  yep.... this.... (17+ / 0-)
    I don't blame our base voters. When Democrats like Sink run on austerity, cutting Social Security and bringing back the Simpson-Bowles Catfood Commission, well, no one is inspired.
    Gotta give 'em a reason to vote for you.  Gotta give a reason to be enthusiastic and actually show up at the polls.  From what I've read, sink didn't.  Sometimes it isn't enough to expect them to vote against the other guy, which seems to be her strategy in the two elections I've seen from her.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:11:07 AM PDT

  •  I hope this isn't a harbinger of things to come... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zornorph, Betty Pinson, Victor Ward


  •  Well They Passed Citizens United on Borrowed Time (8+ / 0-)

    And they gerrymandered under borrowed time.

    We're not all that far from a tipping point after which even our winning elections won't be such a victory, given how much of liberalism will be illegal, unconstitutional, impractical or requiring unattainable majorities to implement.

    We need to be winning almost everywhere right now.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:12:59 AM PDT

  •  Memo to campaign strategists (23+ / 0-)

    The magic number for a Congressional race is 175,000.  If you are slacking off trying to get out a number that is less than that number, you will likely lose.   Your job is to get that number of votes for your candidate in a mid-term election regardless of the PVI.  Period.  If you fail, you might as well find another occupation.

    Media does not turn people out.  Canvassing and candidate-to-people conversations turn people out, and your candidate better be good at one-on-one conversation with people.   Having quality child care available somewhere near polling places, providing transportation and having poll workers who are trained to deal with vote-stealing hassles ensure that you don't lose votes.

    Turning folks out is not complicated.  They first have to have a good political reason to turn out.  Too many Southern Democrats try to blue dog their way in; that does not work.  And it makes a candidate look weak from the start.

    The name of the game this year is Turn Out. Turn Out. Turn Out.  Period.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:13:13 AM PDT

    •  I am with you on all of your points... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, MT Spaces

      But I will say that in defense of the Southern Democrats, the state and county Democratic party organizations are generally weak - an inevitable consequence of being the losing party in one-party rule.  It's tough for a single candidate or campaign strategist, acting without any back-up, to do all of those things you're suggesting.  

    •  There are problems on both sides: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The ACA and Obama's approval ratings  are two albatrosses on the necks of Democrats in congressional races

      Having said that: A "safe congressional district with an unpopular president and a currently unpopular ACA and you can't get 2% of the vote (OK 4% if the Libertarian candidate wasn't in) The other side has problems too
      So, who can fix their problems first?

      a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.

      by Jamesleo on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:24:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is such nonsense (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens, RandomNonviolence

      I have a hard time responding.

      There was a significant door to door effort in this campaign. There was a significant legal protection effort in this campaign.

      In fact, I have not seen anyone describe how to avoid the falloff from Presidential to Congressional campaign.

      Turnout folks is damn complicated. Pretending that this was a problem with the "base" is nonsense.

      •  I was not saying it was a problem with the base (0+ / 0-)

        I was saying that the person quoted was making lame excuses.  Turnout is only complicated when you don't know where the votes are coming from geographically and through social networks .  Turnout gets more complicated as the number of votes needed to win rises.

        A strategist blaming turnout for a loss is really saying that their strategy for getting turnout sucked.  And the last thing we need in the Democratic Party is the continued employment of sucky strategists just because they've been in a campaign.

        A strategist blaming turnout is a strategist blaming the base and the volunteers that took the trouble to work hard and likely was a strategist too busy trying to cut costs to afford more media that they didn't notice that they no longer were trying to move the 175,000 they needed.

        And not one Democratic strategist seems to notice that buying media feeds the Republican party as media owner contribute mostly to Republican causes.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:45:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Running with the wrong issues (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, PorridgeGun, CenPhx

      also doesn't turn them out.

      If you want them to vote, focus on the issues they care most about, the kitchen table issues.

      Whoever came up with the idea of running on Social Security cuts should be fired and sent to a deserted island.  How bad has the DC bubble become when Dems are willing to gamble millions that its a winner?

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by Betty Pinson on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:02:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We allow Repubs to triangulate around us (5+ / 0-)

    on earned benefits, we lose. Especially in FL.

    Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in.

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:21:06 AM PDT

    •  The point is that this wasn't about the issues (5+ / 0-)

      or messaging about them, but turnout, period. We have enough voters to win such elections. It's just that they don't...VOTE.

      Sorry, I had to pick my nose that day...

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:26:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Turnout is not unrelated to issues and messaging. (8+ / 0-)

        People need a reason to go vote.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:42:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac, SouthernLiberalinMD

          But my understanding was that it was poor turnout ops that lost Dems this seat. I agree though that issues, policies, messaging, character, consistency, ground ops, etc., are all linked. Dems are still a ways from getting their acts together on all that. Which is why blindly cheering them is not helping them.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:12:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •   blindly cheering them is not helping them. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SouthernLiberalinMD, CenPhx

            Amen to that.
            2010 should have been a big clue.

            It is not pre-ordained that Democrats will not turn out in off-year elections.

            I realize that the horrors of 2010 overwhelmed a lot of people, but just one off-year cycle before that, Democrats picked up 31 House seats to become a majority and name Nancy Pelosi as speaker while picking up 5 Senate seats to install Harry Reid as majority leader.

            It can be done.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:42:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course, much of the "blind cheering" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dinotrac, SouthernLiberalinMD

              is planted astroturfing intended to make politics about emotion, not substance, and partisanship, not policy. Funny how this can get people worked up during historic elections but loses them during other elections. The fact that OFA was disbanded 10 seconds after it was announced that Obama won in 2008 tells me everything. They just wanted to get him in office. Everything else was just an afterthought. They being the DNC and the elites that own it.

              Unless pressured, the party won't change this. Its leaders will do fine either way and don't need to win that bad. Take this to the bank.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 04:18:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Wait a minute (9+ / 0-)

    I thought she lost because of all those negative comments about Obama on this site.

    Remember, when Democrats lose, it's always the DFH's fault.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:21:15 AM PDT

  •  The media had been hyping this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, orlbucfan

    as Sink's race to lose from the get go. I don't know that much about the district other than what I've read, but I was always curious as to why a Democrat would be favored so much in a district the GOP had held for decades. I personally thought Sink would win but always thought a loss was possible.

  •  There's no time for GOTV! (4+ / 0-)

    We've got meta diaries to write!  They insulted Us and they don't value our contributions nor understand our feelings!  Their values aren't entirely the same as ours and there is certainly something to win right here on teh blog.  

    When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:23:07 AM PDT

  •  Don't forget FL-13's demographics... (9+ / 0-)

    The district is 25% seniors, almost double the national average of 13.7%.

    Now, conventional wisdom suggests that seniors are both more reliable voters (in turnout) and that they tend to vote Republican.

    That's something any Democratic candidate will need to address - and it makes Sink's austerity pitch on Social Security all the more puzzling.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:23:30 AM PDT

    •  According to some of the posters above, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sink spent a lot of time campaigning in nursing homes.  That sounds like that would be a good move.

      However, was she pushing for austerity when she was there?  Was that her message to those constituents?  Was Jolly telling those same people that the ACA would somehow take away from their Medicare/SS?

      •  "when she was there" doesn't matter... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Seniors are also among the most avid consumers of news, both in print and on radio/television.

        If she said something different (or left something unsaid) when campaigning in nursing homes, it's a safe bet that they saw her make the pitch elsewhere via TV/news reports.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:43:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sink is a terrible campaigner (15+ / 0-)

    I live in Florida, and I have seen Sink lose twice now, time for her to hang it up.  She's not an effective politician or campaigner - she has zero charisma, and will do Democrats a favor if she will just admit to herself that politics is not her thing.  We need to find better candidates down here - alas, I'm not confident the Florida Democratts can find anyone who can win these days.

    •  I think they can find someone who can win in (4+ / 0-)

      Florida.  But they have to run on Democratic values such as expanding Social Security, Medicaid, minimum wage, overtime pay, job creation through infrastructure, etc.

      President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

      by Drdemocrat on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:42:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sink (3+ / 0-)

      is one of three candidates to win a statewide race in Florida SINCE 1998.

      The others were Obama and Nelson - and one of Nelson's wins was against Kathleen Harris.

      WHO?  Where is this great candidate?  Hell, we are about to run the Governor who signed stand your ground as a Democrat.

      It is all well and good to say X was a terrible candidate.  Without suggesting who that candidate would be it is all just conversation.

    •  Amen-Sink is a 2 time loser and she is not (0+ / 0-)

      enthusiastic or effective-we need better candidates. Also the Florida Dems need to get stronger & tougher- Just look at the Legislature-shameful....
      Re posted to DKos Florida.

      "No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar." Abraham Lincoln

      by appledown on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:56:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans hold WEEKLY meetings to GOTV (5+ / 0-)

    When? -- every Sunday morning.
    Where? - in churches.

    Hence, our Christian family doesn't attend those churches.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:23:49 AM PDT

  •  wow. thats pathetic. Like I said earlier (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, slakn1

    Obama and the Dems must treat the fall elections like a PRESIDENTIAL election. Somehow, otherwise its hello GOP. That is just pathetic.

  •  Ok, an obvious if incredibly stupid question (4+ / 0-)

    Why doesn't the party HAVE a turnout machine, especially for such off elections but really for all elections, at all levels? After all these years, why don't Dems still get it? Why are they leaving votes on the table?

    Or am I asking the wrong questions?

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:24:30 AM PDT

    •  Right question, wrong framing. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hayate Yagami, kovie

      Might I suggest: Why don't NWWP (non-wonk working people) make voting a priority?

      There are three main reasons why an eligible voter does not case a vote:
      1) They didn't feel strongly about contributing, 'My vote makes no difference', 'Lesser of two evils is still evil.' (no internal motivation)
      2) No peer pressure - 'It is your civic duty', 'Honey, no votey, no nookie.' (external)
      3) Logistics.  Child care, poll lines too long, ID, work, transportation.  (external)

      GOTV is effective on #3, partially effective on #2 and ineffective on #1.

      Establishing solidarity with your targeted citizens (NWWP) through platform, and more importantly performance, Dems can tackle #1.  Well formed message framing to vitally important too.

      My analysis is open to debate.  Here's what is not: the governance of the last 30 years has been a disaster for working people, the wonks (like posters here) and the non-wonks.

      Lobbyist, PAC, SuperPAC - a bribe by any name is still corruption

      by GreatLakeSailor on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:02:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, to expand my question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Why doesn't the party have an effective way of turning out voters who are at all inclined or likely to vote AND substantially increasing the number of people who are inclined or likely to vote--and vote Dem when they do? The former is about GOTV, as you rightly explain, but the latter is about hearts and minds. Good ideas and messaging and strong and charismatic leaders takes us part of the way, but the rest is about policy and outcomes, and Dems have either failed to deliver on that, or failed at communicating that they've delivered on it.

        The party is run like an elite club, by and for its leaders. Its relationship to the country and its people and issues and to its historically core constituencies has suffered tremendously from decades of neoliberal policies, gutless and brain dead politics, and unappealing and phlegmatic leaders. We used to be the party of New Deals and Great Societies. Now we're the party of catch phrases and aloof millionaires. It's a shell of its former self, and that shell is cover for the special interests it actually represents. Until this all changes, everything else is just talk. And that won't happen without massive outside pressure.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 04:56:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why does the Obama voter turnout machine (4+ / 0-)

    take off year elections off? We need this machine functioning 365/24/7. In fact, looking at turnout, we need it more in these off years.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:24:40 AM PDT

  •  Why do you think that is? (9+ / 0-)
    As I've written time and time again, Democrats suffer from poor non-presidential year turnout among its most important base voter groups.
     Could it be from the Democratic Party pandering to moderates and corporations rather than its base? Could it be from the Democratic Party ignoring labor unions and working class causes, while demanding people just clap louder?

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:26:51 AM PDT

    •  I don't really see how what your addressing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      would have worked in this particular area.  If this is a district where 23% of the pop. is over 65, how would the issue of unions and working class causes appeal in this district?  I'm not saying that those aren't important ideas but how would they have worked there?

    •  I know this hurts the messaging but (0+ / 0-)

      There is really no reason to believe that any of those were factors in this Congressional District race. It's not a national race. And the candidate that lost is one I think you would not be very happy with.

      While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:09:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then what do you suggest (0+ / 0-)

        to get the Democratic base to turn out?
          I don't believe it "can't be done".

        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

        by gjohnsit on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:44:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  DEMS must run "bold" not "safe" to win where (5+ / 0-)

    they have not won before. Sink is also only an average pol - not good enough for an upset I do not think. But where was DEM GOTV? Was OFA there? I would like to know that......

  •  Florida Dems are an unorganized mess (5+ / 0-)

    That doesn't help much, either.

    The gerrymandering kills us in the state districts. But it doesn't affect us in the statewide races. What kills us there is the party's lack of organization statewide, and the crappy candidates we keep running.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:27:26 AM PDT

  •  Human beings are not data (0+ / 0-)

    But when you frame arguments in the context of your "uniques" (not even a discreet enough data set to make an argument with) why would I expect you to understand that?

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:28:25 AM PDT

  •  Democrats need to refocus on Working People (0+ / 0-)

    Two things the Democratic Party needs to jettison ASAP:

    1.  Illegal Immigrant Amnesty.  This issue turns off law abiding working folks because not only are these people illegal, they are also depressing wages for all Americans.  They don't vote either.  Alex Sink said we needed illegal immigrants to clean hotel rooms.  No we don't we need the hotels to pay Americans a decent wage and they'll be plenty of clean hotel rooms.

    2.  Trade Deals.  They are a race to the bottom for working people by making them compete against countries that pay 2 cents an hour.  NAFTA, GAAT, all of them need to be repealed.  Dems should run campaigns based on repealing trade agreements.

    If they don't do this they can forget winning elections.  

  •  exactly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noamjunior, slakn1

    "When Democrats like Alex Sink run on austerity, cutting Social Security and bringing back the Simpson-Bowles Catfood Commission, well, no one is inspired"

  •  Those Turncoats! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, Victor Ward, 420 forever, schumann
    When Democrats like Alex Sink run on austerity, cutting Social Security and bringing back the Simpson-Bowles Catfood Commission, well, no one is inspired.
    Why wouldn't Alex run on that?  Aren't those positions consistent with the Democratic Brand's Leadership?  Didn't the head of the Democratic Party, Obama, advance just such policies?

    How DARE voters not turn out just because their economic interests aren't being advanced by the Democratic Party.  Don't they know that policy doesn't matter?  Where's their Team Spirit?

    It's not like the Republican Brand will advance working class interests, so why not just go ahead and vote for the Democrat Brand?  Where's the harm in that?

    If you're going to get your ass kicked, it may as well be by the Good Cop.  

    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

    by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:29:52 AM PDT

  •  Does that mean that republicans are correct (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, AZphilosopher

    in their assessment of Democratic voters, that we are lazy and don't give a shit about what congress does?  Looks like it to me.  We can see clearly that having our man or woman as the president really does not mean a whole hell of a lot when you obstruct.  Shame on the dems for allowing this to happen, all of us.

    •  Not necessarily. Might mean that Democrats (0+ / 0-)

      have not taken the time to understand what's most important to Democratic voters and to be seen as fighting mightily to deliver it.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:45:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Turnout and (D) Pols paying attention (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Seems to me that our weak turnout (quite consistently) is why (D) pols have to look elsewhere for their votes.  IMHO there is no solution to this problem other than increasing turnout consistently over time. Now, anyone know how to do that?

  •  Surviving until 2016 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Drdemocrat, mconvente

    Basically, the way I see it, we are in survival mode as the last chaotic thrashings of the Republican cult movement writhe around until we can finally put this nonsense down for good in 2016.

    We will likely lose big in 2014 in Congress, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

    Let the wingnuts think their racism, lies and hysteria are still a winning strategy because they pick up a few Senate seats and possibly take a razor-thin Senate majority.

    Let them double down on white power code words and hating the poor.

    If Reid can get all the judges through in the next year, what's the big deal, really?  They're not going to waste time impeaching Obama on Issa's bad performance art.  So let them have their moment.

    Then we crush them in 2016 using a multicultural coalition and youth-driven demographics.  We take back the House, Senate, and Presidency, and the new Senate Majority Leader (Elizabeth Warren) finally kills the filibuster once and for all.

    First six months of Hilary Clinton presidency:

    1.  Infrastructure spending bill
    2.  Raise minimum wage
    3.  Immigration reform
    4.  Close corporate tax loopholes
    5.  New voting rights act
    6. Legalize gay marriage

    This is all DOABLE people, no matter what happens in 2014.  2016 is less than three years away.

    •  Why do you think Democrats will lose big in 2014? (4+ / 0-)

      I know there is the usual off-year election pattern and I know the economy sucks, but Republicans haven't been out winning hearts and minds much.

      It's easy to focus on the thrashing of 2010 and forget that it is just one data point.  Go back one more off-year election, and you have Democrats kicking butt in 2006.

      Democrats picked up 31 seats in the House and made Nancy Pelosi speaker.
      Also picked up 5 seats in the Senate to make Harry Reid majority leader.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:50:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And then we lose again in 2018. (0+ / 0-)

      We have a systemic problem, folks, and relying on gaining an advantage every other election is not going to fix that . . .

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:31:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This fictional Hillary character sounds awesome (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Because the Hillary I know supports and is capable of pushing for and delivering maybe two of those things. More likely she'll push for a grand bargain, make dodgy trade deals, and nuke Iran first.

      •  And, if we're lucky, Reid will still be leader (0+ / 0-)

        Because if the new senate majority leader in 2017 is Elizabeth Warren, then a weak and increasingly desperate Mitch McConnell won re-election in 2014, and the Democrats lost the senate.

      •  times have changed (0+ / 0-)

        If you think republicans will work with ANY Democrat, ever again, you are wrong.

        They have convinced their cult members that Democrats are socialmacommunistsatanists and nothing can change that now.  They are Jim Jonesing their way to irrelevancy.

        Hilary might lack conviction, but the realities of today's polarizing climate mean she'll accomplish far more unilaterally than trying to make stupid Lucy-football deals like Obama did 2009-2011.

        The lesson has been learned by Obama.  Hilary is not stupid.  There is no "grand bargain" possible with a suicide bomber.

  •  Start by Jettisoning the term "Illegal Immigrant" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    its gawdamaweful

  •  Still -- what does it take to get people out? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AZphilosopher, Victor Ward

    I understand that Sink outspent Jolly on TV buys by 3-1.

    When,btw, did Sink become GOP-lite?

    I could be remembering wrong, but I thought there were more than a few "Sink's our gal" items here on DK.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:36:53 AM PDT

  •  Sink is a blue-dog democrat who deflates the base (6+ / 0-)

    Sink proclaimed her support for the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan, indicating her willingness to cut Social Security and Medicare! She was attacked by the Republicans for doing so. They exclaimed that she would cut those programs for seniors.

    Democratic candidates should not be defensively tenuous in their support for Obamacare, as by stating they want to "fix it." Sink should have gone on the offense and provided specific support for the ACA as Crist inferred that he will do in his future campaign.

    Sink should have exclaimed that Obamacare eliminates the coverage gap (the "donut hole") for medicare recipients, which this year requires recipients with that coverage gap to pay 72% of the costs of their drugs.

    She should have affirmed that Jolly wants young adults under the age of 26 to be kicked off their parents' insurance and he wants insurance companies to be able to reject claimants on the basis of pre-existing conditions.

    She should also have asserted that Jolly wants insurance company executives to be able to get rich off insurance premiums. The ACA requires that 80% of the insurance premiums must be used for health care; only 20% can be spent on administrative costs.

    Sink should have affirmed that the Affordable Care Act has depressed the rise in medical costs to the lowest level in many years.

    Sink should have broadcast poignant testimonials of Floridians who have received life-saving care from the Affordable Care Act.

    Sink needed to expand the electorate. She should have had conversations with many hosts of Spanish-speaking radio shows in her district and even the hosts of national Spanish-speaking television shows. She should have spent considerable time advocating the Dream Act and specific aspects of immigration reform. She should have spent a considerable amount of her resources in organizing Hispanic neighborhoods and in providing vans for people in urban areas such as St. Petersburg to be transported to the polls

  •  And any thoughts on what we can do to (0+ / 0-)

    GOTV in 2014....

    I mean I appreciate Alan's thought and frankly as I read more about Sink's positions (what was she thinking in Florida?  And of course I oppose those anywhere) it seems more understandable.  I just hope we can run someone much better in the fall for this seat.

    But we need to step it up/sh

  •  What's wrong with Florida?? (0+ / 0-)

    The Neoliberal agenda is America's agenda. Sink winning should have been a no-brainer.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:37:53 AM PDT

  •  Stan Greenberg's plan of fighting on economic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    katesmom, PorridgeGun

    issues is a winning strategy that will get Democrats to the polls.  He said Democrats need to run on medicaid expansion, no cuts to social security/medicare, jobs creation, minimum wage, etc.  Those are things that motivate the Democratic base to turn out.

    Plus he said that Democrats need to match dollar for dollar these anti-Obamacare ads with pro-Obamacare ads starting now.

    He said the "keep and fix" is actually a winning strategy that neutralized the Obamacare ads.  What hurt Sink was she did not motivate Democratic voters to go to the polls.  Did she run on pro-Democratic economic values?  I have no idea.

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:38:00 AM PDT

  •  The loss was bad...but... (4+ / 0-)

    To listen to cons talk about it today, you'd think they just beat Pelosi in San Fran. In reality, the last time a dem held office in that district, Cheers was first coming on air. I don't get where this is such a huge win for them.

  •  Really can't read too much into this also. (0+ / 0-)

    Plus, where were all the R's who are crowing about this win when they lost the Gov's race in VA earlier?

  •  But Hillary is A-OK? (4+ / 0-)

    Neoliberals must lose and go away, and this one did. No mystery why turnout was so bad, she's not really a Democrat and the people knew it. Keep pushing neoliberal policy, and we'll keep losing. No rocket science needed here.

    The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

    by Jazzenterprises on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:40:24 AM PDT

    •  Totally different scenarios (0+ / 0-)

      Due to low turnout, special elections are base elections, period.  Field-based strategy becomes much more effective because turnout produced by volunteers doorknocking and phonebanking can account for a larger percentage of the whole.  

      In presidential contests turnout is so high that persuasion is far more important than base.  Field effects are massively diluted, hence the careful positioning and messaging that drives (some of) the base crazy.

      The country is trending liberal-left, but it's going to be some time before openly socialist candidates like Bernie Sanders can win national elections.

  •  Sink Sunk - GOTV and Retail Politics Failure (0+ / 0-)

    She is simply not a strong candidate. This is her backyard. She should have had a much stronger GOTV organization in place many weeks ago. Her district is geographically small enough that retail politics should have been the focus of her efforts. It would  have made the difference. She lost against a nobody lobbyist who ran an incompetent race with no prior history of elective success. Its hard to help somebody who seems incapable of helping themselves. She is a poor candidate.  

    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

    by bywaterbob on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:41:01 AM PDT

  •  All pretty valid comments.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'd just like to add two things:

    1.)  Alex Sink IS a viable person/candidate.  How soon we forget that had it not been by 1 percentage point (thank you, stubborn and dumbass seniors), she would be governor right now.  She's moderate/centrist, I'll give you that.  In Florida, that's not a big surprise.  In the district that she was running in, it was predominately purple-to-blue, with a few shades of red :)  Simply put, Pinellas County is pretty moderate-to-liberal, but NOT as moderate-to-more liberal as Hillsborough County (just my experience/opinion on that).

    2.)  DEMOCRATS AND INDEPENDENTS AND MODERATE-TO-LIBERAL REPUBLICANS (that will vote for Gov. Crist and more sane candidates) NEED TO GET OUT AND VOTE IN NOVEMBER!!!  Democrats in particular.  Look at the friggin' results!  Ms. Sink lost by approximately 2%!!  This wasn't East Boonfuck County, Florida, with maybe 4 Democratic voters out of a population of 135 people.  This was Pinellas County!!  Grrr....  

    Okay, rant over.... thanks! :D  

    •  But Republicans outnumber Democrats in Registratin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and in the past were winning by 12 points or more. Again, no one is acknowledging the GOP problems. This was gerrymandered district that in spike of Obama's carrying it, always went Republican.

      a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.

      by Jamesleo on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:56:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sink was a lousy candidate. (0+ / 0-)

    You'd think with the Prez winning that district in 2008 and 2012, she's have been smart enough to know not to run away from him.

    I sure hope they come up with a better candidate in Nov.

    Also, it's a lot easier for people who usually vote for repubs to get to the polls (older, white, retired).  We really need to take that into account when devising our GOTV efforts.

  •  If I Had My Way... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Trosk, schumann

    I would spend 90% of Dem. funds on GOTV efforts and 10% on ads that very rarely change voters' minds in the absence of a real scandal you can pin on your opponent.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:49:51 AM PDT

  •  Sink ran a lousy campaign. Period. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun, schumann

    She started sounding like Repuke Lite right before the election. When that happens (I don't care where it is), the Repuke invariably wins. I've lived in central Florida most of my life. I'm married to a local cracker who is a proud yellow dog Democrat. We are very familiar w/that district. It's loaded with retirees, both military and civilian. It's also got a lot of Bible freaks in it. It's been Repuke country for decades.

    Until the FL Democratic Party regroups and starts running FDR Democrats, this crap will continue. It's sad, but just that simple.

    Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the truth we know. -- L. Spencer

    by orlbucfan on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:51:36 AM PDT

  •  I didn't even hear about this special election (0+ / 0-)

    until two days ago. Don't blame Alex Sink. It's time to get motivated and get out the vote, or it's over. Strap on your gas mask and your 40 below parka and find a comfortable spot to put your tent.

    Peace, Love, and Prosperity. See more on the R. Crosby Lyles channel on YouTube.

    by Rich Lyles on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:51:58 AM PDT

  •  Have to completely disagree with tweet (3+ / 0-)

    from Alan Covington.  The Democrats will not be fine, because there are millions of dollars of outside money which will be floating in to shore up nearly all Rupublicans, while the few Democratic groups out there are mostly keeping their treasure chests full waiting for 2016.

    -9.88, -7.44 Social Security as is will be solvent until 2037, and the measures required to extend solvency beyond that are minor. -- Joe Conanson

    by wordene on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:54:30 AM PDT

    •  Based on the Kos excuses we are doomed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Algernons Labyrinth

      The midterm will mean we have less turnout. A lot of seats we are trying to win or defend have the same demographics and types of candidates as Sink.

      So how are we saying we will be fine and also saying that the exact circumstances we will often face in November are what doomed us now?

      The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

      by Common Cents on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:18:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would say that's the strategy (0+ / 0-)

        A lot of Democrats are probably hoping that the Republicans win the field this fall. They will undoubtedly overreach, shut down the government again, maybe even engineer a default on the debt, thrilling their base but causing chaos.  Then, the thinking goes, people will be so mad at the R's that they'll sweep Democrats back into office in 2016.

        Both political parties seem to have adopted the strategy of hoping the other side screws up.

  •  all this analysis and blame is bullshit (0+ / 0-)

    lost by2%, how much did rw radio ignorance cost?

    all the other factors are normal for both parties- print, tv, internet, money, get out the vote, tactics, etc. we can analyze the results for weeks as to relative wins and fails and comparisons but it's all bullshit because the left cedes the rw radio advantage.

    what did it cost dems to continue to ignore rw radio? how many pts was that worth? 10% 20% 30%?

    all the other analysis is bullshit if dems and progressives continue to ignore the right's best weapon.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:55:10 AM PDT

  •  We need to run Dems with a positive vision. (3+ / 0-)

    i can't begin to guess how many emails I get every day from the DCCC, DSCC, OFA, etc where the subject line is something like "Disaster! Horrible! Too Late!  I'm Worried! Devastating Defeat!" followed by a demand for donations to prevent the bad guys from taking over. Having worked with a few 'professional' fundraisers I understand that their main concern is making their percentage of the take, but I can't believe that attitude really gets the party or candidate anywhere except to depress the sh*t out of everyone on their list.

    Give us a positive vision and a reason to joyfully go out and DO something (volunteer maybe) and you will get better results.

  •  Sink Was The Right Candidate For That District (0+ / 0-)

    and she did win many of the elderly.  The problem is that she didn't win enough.  Voting a certain way is ingrained in a voter over time.  It is hard to break away from voter patterns even against you own interest.  I always vote democrat, but of course I am on the right side of history.  I will be 61 in April, and have elderly friends who always vote republican and it is hard to convince them otherwise.  I live in Walton county Florida.  So, I am assuming that most elderly republicans are the same everywhere here in Florida who are republicans.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:56:48 AM PDT

    •  I Would Like To Add One More Comment (0+ / 0-)

      I think that if Sink spent more of her money on GOTV instead of on TV ads she might have gotten more for her money.  I have never run a campaign, but I imagine it is hard to strike a balance on where to put your money.

      "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

      by rssrai on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:31:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with this election is that the gop (0+ / 0-)

    and the Charley Cooks of this world will use it to say, "See, Dems cannot get to the polls in off year elections, no matter how important they are..."
    So they will use this as a hammer to further bash the Dem enthusiasm, so they can then declare an "enthusiasm gap" and the would be Christie press secretary (Todd Gregory) will scare the pants off the brainiacs at the DNC etc. who will then withold funds from any candidate who is polling at less than 85%, and then this fact will be pushed around by Todd Gregory, which will further dispirit the Dem base making our failure even more certain.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:58:12 AM PDT

  •  How about a dorky Dem organization in FL (0+ / 0-)

    generally? Like a phone bank effort that had volunteers calling the same little set of "friendly likely Democratic voters" over and over and over? To the point that the sufferers were saying DO NOT CALL ME AGAIN and "Keep it up and I won't vote, or vote for the other slob"? And fielding wimpy candidates like Ms. Sink, who no doubt has virtues but is neither a campaigner of any substance nor a "progressive" voice, a soft target for the Koch-suckers with her message of "bipartisanship" and her campaign's reluctance or inability to either initiate or respond to effective messaging? Who wants to vote for or volunteer for a person who does not really seem to want the job in the first place?

    Don't blame some miasmic set of "uncommitted Democrats" for not GOTV. Other than some obscure-message "attack ads," what did the supposedly omnipotent, masterfully manipulative national Obamachine do for Sink? And other not-clearly Third Way candidates?

    Yeah, yeah, it's the best we can do, and we deserve the screwing we are going to get by the "legitimately elected" rulers that, No Fair!, Citizens United and a well-organized, central-message focused set of cynical thieves will be giving us. Because after all, you have to trust The Constitution and The Rule Of Law to give us our Rights, and what we So Richly Deserve... It's All Our Own Fault!

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:00:05 AM PDT

  •  Evil wins again (0+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:00:15 AM PDT

  •  Yep, as others have noted here, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slakn1, schumann, buffie

    "Democrats win by getting Democrats to the polls."

    Democrats also win by running actual Democrats, not wealthy elite who would make Richard Nixon look liberal. I'm just a bit tired of rich folk telling me (1) to give them money, (2) to elect them, and (3) they're going to continue making my life miserable via austerity and '80s-era Republican policies.

    And, yes, I appreciate that many currently-seated Dems fit this description.

  •  re: campaigning as Republican lite. (0+ / 0-)

    When we do finally get a true Progressive Candidate running we need to support them. Give them the visibility and the volunteers, and yes, the money to be able to make their case. We need to move the Overton window by highlighting progressive values where it matters, in front of the voters.

  •  preview of coming attractions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You have hit the nail on the head (as usual).  

    The Democratic Party is heading for another self inflicted midterm disaster.

    The adoption of right wing issue framing - whether it is deficit reduction, health care, food stamp cuts, defense budget priority, etc. etc. is a certain loser for Democratic candidates.

    The track record of Obama and the Democratic Party is pretty dismal.  Given a pair a voter mandates in the last two presidentials and the preceding midterm, the Democratic party has ignored what was clearly motivating their voters.  Namely:

    Stop the wars
    Indict the war criminals
    Indict and regulate financial criminals (see Elizabeth Warren voter strength)
    Repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force and Patriot Act
    Increase transparency
    Rebuild our infrastructure
    etc etc

    Instead, they folded in the name of compromise and did little/nothing and where there were policies they were half assed, watered down, long lead time to implementation travesties.

    No surprise. 2010 =>  no turnout.  2014 => repeat performance.

    The only chance is a massive blitz of action - as when Obama "threatened" to use executive orders.  Action, mkay not so much (yet).

    This is NOT inspiration.  This will NOT motivate turnout.

    The astroturf right wing will turn out and will win seats based on this type of 51% of 40% turnout i.e. a real 20% of elligible voters.  And they will declare a mandate and "spend their political capital" decisively - much to the dismay and chagrin of us all.

    Sad to say, but there you have it.

    The measured, baby steps they are taking are helping

  •  Ehrlich (0+ / 0-)

    I know little about her but looking at her website it seems like she may have done better than Sink. I know it's shallow, but she's very photogenic.

  •  Election Day should be a national holiday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think the major reason why Dems don't turn out in non Presidential election years is because our party is composed of vastly more working class voters who literally cannot afford to spend a few hours waiting in line to cast a ballot.  

    This problem is obviously exacerbated by racist policies that place 8 voting machines in a small suburban (read - generally white and conservative) town, and only 1 voting machine in a densely populated urban areas, were a significant portion of our base lives.

    The solution to improving voting percentages among all people is so unbelievably simple - make Election Day a national holiday.  Maybe this wouldn't have as big an impact on getting working class Dem voters to vote, since a lot of our base works in jobs that don't get days off, even for Labor Day (like service workers).

    But still, it's sure to help.

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:14:02 AM PDT

  •  Voting To Take Away Kids, Grandkids Obamacare (0+ / 0-)

    This is the thing - retirees in Florida are seeing their middle aged children die from lack of health care, unemployment, drinking.  I mentioned the death rate of the younger Boomers and my retired mother in the Tampa area said "Yes many of my retired friends have lost adult children in recent years."

    In Florida, retirees need to get the message that voting for Republican candidates put the lives of their children and grandchildren at risk.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:18:50 AM PDT

  •  The same issues now will be around in Nov. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Algernons Labyrinth

    Lower turnout. Uninspiring candidates. Red State voters. Lots of outside spending. So I guess Kos is practicing the excuses now.

    The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

    by Common Cents on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:20:59 AM PDT

  •  Where is my pillow? Where is my couch? (0+ / 0-)


    One election in one district in f'g Florida of all places and now we are all verklempt?

    Have you read all these comments?  

    The end is nigh?


    Need to toughen up to win, imho.

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:22:43 AM PDT

  •  Cough, cough... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    cou* IToldYouSo*gh, cough.

    'Scuse me, I seem to have something stuck in my throat.

  •  Little Sympathy (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry folks, but if you don't vote, you don't win. People of FL, you get what you deserve. Sad but true.

  •  We Dems lose becuz Will Rogers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was and is right - we don't belong to an organized political party.
    Should we ever get around to organizing we will win tons of elections - including FL-13.  We're not all that organized up here in my NY-21 - yet - but we somehow managed to elect a Dem to congress after 100 years of electing Repubs.  That's right!  We hadn't elected a Dem up here going all the way back to the Civil War!
    We plan on reversing that trend, having won the last two elections (including 2010 when many a Dem took a tumble).  So, how do we organize a party that refuses to organize?
    navajo has started a Group, the old "New Day" group has morphed into her new group called "Connect! Unite! Act!" which is all about forming local groups - like ours in NY-21 - and integrating the smaller local groups with the Mother Group, "Connect! Unite! Act!"  
    Here is the List of Groups here on Daily Kos that are connected with "Connect! Unite! Act!"  If you are not yet a member of one of those groups please join!  If you do not see a Group in your city or area listed on that page please create one for your neck of the woods and Kos Mail navajo and ask her to add your new Group to the list.
    Then start gathering the leaders in your congressional district and let them know that you're actually organizing your CD.  And, if your congress critter is a Dem let him or her know that you're one of the point wo/men in your CD.  Some of us in NY-21 have "created" a Group on so that we have a platform of sorts to build the Group and organize the CD.  Wiggio is much like Google+ with all of the bells and whistles that Google+ has without being Google.
    Is a great little spot to create a Group for most anything, especially organizing your CD.
    We Dems continue to lose CDs we should win becuz Will Rogers was and is right.  Until we organize this party right down to the Precinct level we will continue to have the punks from The Right ruling our asses.  And, that's unacceptable.

    Follow Connect! Unite! Act! MeetUp events! For live podcasting of your Event contact winkk to schedule.

    by winkk on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:43:02 AM PDT

  •  GOP terrible candidate beats Dem terriblecandidate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The moral - Dont pick terrible candidates to run for office - Look at what happened in MA with Brown and Warren =- then they ran a good candidate against Brown they won

    •  They ran a guy many here were saying ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      misscee, Noamjunior

      ... was a terrible candidate in Virginia and won.

      Terry McAuliffe also ran on gun control — an issue many here say is a guaranteed loser for Dems — and won.

      He ran in ObamaCare and the Medicaid Expansion — an issue the punditocracy in Washington said was a loser — and won.

      Terry McAuliffe is a centrist, a Wall Streeter, a Washington insider, a DLC guy, everything many here at DKos decry. But he won.

      He listened to the people of Virginia, he spoke to their issues, he got out the vote. And he won.

      This isn't Markos' first election. He knows whereof he speaks. We would do well to listen.

      I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

      by ObamOcala on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:33:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if he He listened to the people of Virginia, - (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        he wasn't a terrible candidate

      •  Not an apt comparison (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If Terry McAuliffe had made the emphasis of his campaign  deficit reduction and "bipartisanship" and austerity would he have won?

        If his first response to immigration reform was "We should do it so businesses can hire maids and landscapers" (in Florida of all places!) would he have won?

        If McAuliffe was a former BofA executive running for office in a county that has been absolutely decimated by the fraud of the banking industry, and he refused to address this in any meaningful way, would he still have won?

        Alex Sink's two failed campaigns should be held up by the Democrats as perfect examples of how NOT to appeal to Democratic voters.

        There is no valid comparison here. If Alex Sink listened to the voters of Pinellas county she would have been pushing a populist message and aggressively going after the sheer repulsiveness of Republican behavior in the House in recent years.

        •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)
          Not an apt comparison
          At all.  
          If Terry McAuliffe had made the emphasis of his campaign  deficit reduction and "bipartisanship" and austerity would he have won?

          If his first response to immigration reform was "We should do it so businesses can hire maids and landscapers" (in Florida of all places!) would he have won?

          If McAuliffe was a former BofA executive running for office in a county that has been absolutely decimated by the fraud of the banking industry, and he refused to address this in any meaningful way, would he still have won?

          Somehow, I just can't see anyone refuting this response in any meaningful way, either. Shocking, I know.

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:38:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Fmr Bank of America Exec Advised Her (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun, ChuckChuckerson

    I'm going to check out her campaign to see who is who.

    This loss should be someone's Karl Rove Moment.  

    The dark money donors must be very unhappy.

    Alex Sink's 2013 year end FEC campaign report shows she paid money to a consultant named Jim R Cassady.

    Cassady is on the Board of Directors of FloridaNext, something that looks like a DLC type organization.  His biosays he served over 30 years in various positions at Bank of America and worked for Sink when she was the state's Chief Financial Officer.

    As of 3 weeks ago, Sink showed only $2.5 million or so in donations, so most of the money spent on her race is dark money.  

    It will be interesting to see who gave her such bad advice on her campaign.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:06:40 AM PDT

  •  Whoa Kos, what the fuck!? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    But given our anemic base turnout, Democratic candidates need to do a better job motivating them to vote. And in this case, I don't blame our base voters. When Democrats like Alex Sink run on austerity, cutting Social Security and bringing back the Simpson-Bowles Catfood Commission, well, no one is inspired.
    Uh oh, someone's talking about purity.
  •  I vote in every election (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Does anyone here think that boycotting elections is an effective tactic?
    The Democratic Party is a very weak party as long as it must rely on people who only vote when they are fired up.
    OK, I can agree we did not have such a good candidate, but it seems to me not enough voters in this Florida district are giving good people an incentive to run.
    I see this in the Houston area where I live. It seems not enough people look up who is running, the day after filing deadline. They do not badly enough want to know who is running. Simply a part of shopping for candidates.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:20:04 PM PDT

    •  How (0+ / 0-)

      exactly are we voters supposed to give good people an incentive to run?

      Jessica Ehrlich was running for Bill Young's seat and probably would have won the primary, but the Democratic Party stepped in and declared Sink as the candidate.

      The problem here (as with the national party) is that completely incompetent Very Serious People within the party wield tremendous power. That's how we get stuck with a blue dog that nobody likes and nobody will support instead of a legit Democrat that could have won this election with a populist message.

      •  Ecourage shopping in primaries (0+ / 0-)

        I grant that the recent primary in Houston was rather un-competitive, but not enough people take the initiative of inquiring who is running and voting in primaries come hell or high water. Consequently it takes a lot of money to get enough people's attention and vote.
        I doubt that TV ads are a good source of information and I do not even watch TV.

        Censorship is rogue government.

        by scott5js on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:34:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't have voted for her (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't blame people for not coming out to vote for someone who favors cutting Social Security.  Fuck her.

    Until Democrats start running candidates who represent the parties values we will never beat the Republicans.

  •  Charles Pierce has a good column on this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    “The Republicans are crowing about how the result was a referendum on the Affordable Care Act, but Sink didn't exactly rise to its defense. In a low turnout election -- Nice job there again, Democrats -- with Jolly explaining that the ACA will end democracy as we know it and kill us all, and Sink mumbling that she would ‘keep what was right and fix what was wrong,’ the stronger argument, no matter how shot through with nonsense it is, will generally prevail.”

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by ssnbbr on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 01:31:10 PM PDT

  •  I was lead to believe... (0+ / 0-)

    that among registered voters in FL 13, Democrats actually outperformed the Republicans.  If that is true, it wasn't about turnout.  It was about the sheer number of Republicans in that district.

  •  Have we asked for a recount (0+ / 0-)

    There is no way this was a fair election,  it had to  rigged some how some way.  I refuse to believe a republic won this .  

  •  Um, Markos, respectfully DISAGREE (0+ / 0-)

    Respect your commentary but to be frank, there are PLENTY of opportunities for wins.  The key here is that fighting HARD AS HELL regardless of the odds is the key to win.

    I think we've learned long enough that the U.S. government shutdown has galvanized voters but it may very well be the general election.  We're just coming off of a 2% point loss, not a 10% point loss.  

    Think about also Francine Busby's loss in the 2006 Special Election to replace Rep. Duke Cunningham vs. Brian Bilbray (who won election that year and served in Congress until getting beaten in 2012 by then-candidate Scott Peters.  Sure, the district was red then (less blue than FL-13 is now) but Busby's race was high profile as well.

    And GUESS what?  The Democratic Party gained quite a number of seats in the House of Representatives and a number in the U.S. Senate November 2006 and there was a lot at stake then with the Iraq War and what not.  Of course now, there's more at stake.

    Also, this is a special election and with low turnout for Democrats, well, guess what?  This is a SPECIAL ELECTION.   And Alex Sink only lost by 2% points!  Sure, it's a painful loss but hasn't anyone figured out that the general election is what most everyone's eyes are focused on?

    I mean really, people need to think about this for a moment:  What real difference in the next several months would a FL-13 win for Alex Sink make AT ALL in legislative process?

    Answer:  ZILCH.  NADA.  NOTHING.  Sure, Alex Sink could make a difference in Congress if she was elected but aside from a win, what REAL difference would there have been?  Oh sure, Democrats could get galvanized but then, so would the Koch Bros and they'd be putting in more $ into the race.

    I think we need to be VERY careful to not read too much into FL-13 yet.  However, what I CAN agree though is that even though the voter turnout among Democrats was low, Alex Sink STILL got 46% of the votes compared to David Jolly's 48% of the votes.  

    And FL is still a very competitive state so obviously Democrats HAVE to get their butts in gear and win FL-13 for good this November, as well as other seats.  Don't take any chances at all!

  •  This is the code tenant of The Daily Kos (0+ / 0-)

    In my opinion this is it, Markos repeats it every time he has a chance and he's right to do it: where Dems don't turn out the vote, Dems don't win, period.

    "If that's what Fallujah is, then what's that band with all the Mexican kids in it?"

    by iSenseChange on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:24:26 PM PDT

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