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By all accounts, including, most recently, Nate Silver's, the Democratic Party faces the possibility of losing the Senate this fall.

As a reality-based community, we need to face the fact that that is a distinct possibility. And, as a progressive community, we need to do whatever we can to act based on that information to try to do whatever we can to make sure it doesn't happen.

The biggest challenge, by most people's estimates, is for Democrats to get our voters to the polls in November. If we can do that in sufficient numbers, we can actually exceed expectations.

How do we do that?

It seems to me that we need to scare the crap out of people in 10 key metro areas in order to get them to see how vitally important it is for them to get themselves to the polls November 4.

If we can perform just five or 10 percent better, in terms of getting our folks to the polls this November than in 2010, we can beat the odds.

The cities where we need a special effort to turn out that vote include (but is not necessarily limited to): Charlotte & Raleigh in NC, Little Rock, in AR, New Orleans, LA, Anchorage, AK, Louisville, KY, Detroit, MI, Charleston, WV, Atlanta, GA and Denver, CO.  

Why those cities? Because turnout in those cities can determine whether Democrats will win Senate contests in those states. If we can turn out enough votes in those cities to exceed typical off-year (i.e. non-presidential) turnout, then we can hold onto enough seats to keep the Senate in Democratic hands.

And if we extend this to five more key metropolitan areas, we can do more than just hold onto the Senate, we can help Democrats take over key governor's offices and end the nightmare that's been going on by those Republican governors wanting to roll back women's rights, union rights and voting rights.

We would include those five additional cities once we have our key operation up and running in the main Ten Cities. Those additional five cities would include: Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville and Cleveland. If we can exceed voter turnout expectations in those cities, we can defeat Republican governors like Scott Walker, Tom Corbett, Rick Scott and John Kasich.

What messages should we use to motivate our folks?

The answer seems clear to me. There are three messages that we need to get to our voters in those areas which could warrant special attention by them during this election year: Impeachment, Voter suppression and Women's Rights.

If the Senate turns Republican, it seems like a high probability that Republicans will do whatever they can to not only thwart President Obama's efforts for the last two years of his presidency, but may actually seek to get get rid of him through impeachment (or at least keep everyone distracted on it so as to prevent any forward movement on anything else).

At the state level, Republican governors in these areas have been engaged in an all-out assault on voting rights, trying to make it hard for Democratic voters to vote. They've also been engaged in an assault on women's rights, pushing highly controversial things like “rape insurance,” trans-vaginal ultrasounds and other outrages.

We need to scare the crap out of our key constituent groups if we are to beat the odds this November.

Focusing special attention on the 10 key areas that can make all of the difference in the outcome of this November's elections seems like one way to do so.

In case anyone should misconstrue this suggestion, the recommendation is not to focus all of our energy and resources on just these areas, but, rather, this is intended to be accomplished in conjunction with all of the other efforts already underway and planned nationwide. The Ten City Strategy would be an extraordinary effort, on top of everything else, to try to resolve one of the Democrats' biggest off-year election challenges: getting our core voters to the polls.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Your message needs work... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, wdrath, MarthaPeregrine, AoT, Odysseus

    "Impeachment" has very little resonance with the low interest voters you're trying to scare.  I'm not even sure it's considered realistic by political activists.  And even if you were correct, the Republicans won't be getting the 67 votes they need for conviction.

    Ditto voter suppression.  If you don't vote regularly, the notion that someone wants to keep you from voting isn't going to have much influence.

    Finally, women's rights.  That is important, but I don't know if the voters you're trying to reach think its important ENOUGH.  This is still an economically-driven electorate.  Jobs, minimum wage and a positive defense of the economic benefits of ACA would be far more constructive in my opinion.

    •  the threat of possible impeachment (0+ / 0-)

      by an all-Republican Congress seems like it could motivate a lot of President Obama's supporters who may think there's no need for them to vote this November. We need to reach folks who were motivated enough to get out and vote for President Obama, but who might not this year. It seems like the real potential threat of impeachment by an all-Republican Congress could help to do that.

      Some voter suppression efforts in 2012 actually seemed to backfire on Republicans, causing many people to get out and vote. People may not always want to get out and vote, but they most definitely want the right to make that decision themselves. Especially minority groups. It seems to me that highlighting efforts by Republicans to take voting rights away would be a good motivator.

      And women are one of the Democratic Party's most important voting blocks because the gender gap often determines whether Democrats will win elections or not.

      That's the rationale for those messages. Am not married to those. To your point, if there are key messages we can use to scare the crap out of our key constituent groups this November, we should use those.  Any suggestions?

      •  I think you are overestimating Obama's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, wdrath, Odysseus

        2008 and 2012 supporters. The threat of impeachment doesn't strike a chord with me at least.
        I think we're going to get more mileage out of jobs and minimum wage, not only because those are strong issues for us, but also because we'll paint a positive, hopeful "Yes We Can" message in contrast to the Party of No. I think going for scare tactics may just tire people.

        "We need institutions and cultural norms that make us better than we tend to be. It seems to me that the greatest challenge we now face is to build them." -Sam Harris, neuroscientist

        by MarthaPeregrine on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:07:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That said, a 10-city stategy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wdrath

          seems like a good strategy to me. If ads were targeted and said, for example, what a minimum wage raise would mean specifically for Little Rock, for Anchorage, etc etc.

          "We need institutions and cultural norms that make us better than we tend to be. It seems to me that the greatest challenge we now face is to build them." -Sam Harris, neuroscientist

          by MarthaPeregrine on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:08:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  if you don't vote regularly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wdrath

      and it's made clear to you that this vote really counts

      that may just make the difference

      in the first place, of course, i don't understand those that don't vote

      it's may be the very last thing we're still allowed to do that doesn't profit the 1%...

      •  That would be great except that this is the same (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wdrath, Odysseus, isabelle hayes

        message every single election. As such it's not very effective any more. Economic populism would be much more effective.

        I do think that the Ten City Strategy has potential for sure. focusing resources on those ten cities and working on GOTV through every means at the party's disposal seems like a good plan.

        I think that a few cities in Texas should be added, Houston and San Antonio at least.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:36:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The main point is quite inspiring (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, wdrath
    The cities where we need a special effort to turn out that vote include (but is not necessarily limited to): Charlotte & Raleigh in NC, Little Rock, in AR, New Orleans, LA, Anchorage, AK, Louisville, KY, Detroit, MI, Charleston, WV, Atlanta, GA and Denver, CO.
    Firstly, you get the gears churning in my head: I live in a safely blue state but I have family in Colorado.  Perhaps I can arrange some way to help out with the ground game.

    Secondly, there has been some the numbers that Nate Silver has provided has provided about the upcoming Senate races.  Having done some of my own data churning, I would offer up my numbers for purposes of discussion:

        Using Silver's numbers, I estimate a 34% chance of the GOP taking over the Senate.

        Using Silver's numbers, but adjusting the probability of winning in Colorado from 60% to 80%, I estimate a 27% chance of the GOP taking over.

    Which is a pretty big jump.  The usual caveats apply: Silver could be way off in his odds, I might have botched the analysis, a great deal will change before the election.

    But the central point remains: we have good to believe that an intelligent strategy of turning out our base in the cities will have a significant effect on the outcome.

    o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

    by tarkangi on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:25:58 PM PDT

    •  Based on the numbers Colorado (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tarkangi, wdrath

      won't need much help. They're pretty blue at this point. I think focusing on Texas could get some stuff done. Houston and San Antonio perhaps.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:52:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe we could (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        substitute another city for Denver (such as Miami)

        •  I think the first step is to figure out (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wdrath, Odysseus

          where the party is putting resources and then have the netroots work in a different place. That's why I keep suggesting Houston. Miami might be a good plan as well, although it's pretty conservative, I'd expect we want to hit the places who's demographics support us more.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 04:09:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I am learning to write more clearly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, wdrath, Odysseus

        Every time I get criticized, I get better.

        My focus was on Denver only because I have a personal connection to the place.

        My intended point was that simply making the one modest improvement, in one state, translated into a real improvement in our odds of holding the Senate.  I never intended to suggest that we should put all of our eggs into the Colorado basket.

        The real point is that we can work the odds in every single battleground state through an intelligent GOTV campaign, and that understanding how the numbers work can be a useful guide to allocating resources.

        ***  BREAK ***

        To your specific point about Texas, Silver assigns it a 98% chance of going for Cornyn.  My gut instinct was that a twenty point shift in the probability for Texas would have a (much) smaller shift in the overall probability of holding the Senate - but the model I am using suggests that the effect should be about the same size.  

        This gives me lots of food for thought.  Thank you.

        o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

        by tarkangi on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 04:25:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There they go again! (0+ / 0-)

    The midterm elections are coming up, and the progressives are scrambling for issues that will divert the voters' attention away from the dismal performance of the President and Democrat policies. I would submit that more people are concerned about the lack of jobs and the increased costs of health insurance than they are about voter suppression and womens rights. The straw man argument about impeachment takes the cake, though.

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