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.