From today's Washington Post:
In 2010, I managed the general election campaign of Cantor’s Democratic opponent. I never expected us to win, but I was a 27-year-old looking to get involved, and I thought we could achieve some good even by losing the race…The 2010 midterms were a Republican romp. Even so, Cantor didn’t have a great showing. In October, our campaign found that only 51 percent of voters responded that they would vote for Cantor if the election were held on the day of the poll. We also found low enthusiasm among Cantor supporters.
The story continues:
After Cantor’s 2010 victory, a group of anti-Cantor activists from both left and right met in person to discuss campaigning against the man who would soon be majority leader. We met several times over two weeks at coffee shops and pubs in strip malls throughout the Richmond suburbs. At first, we were suspicious that one side was trying manipulate the other, but soon we developed a sense of trust over our shared frustrations with Cantor. (For example, we saw his refusal to acknowledge or debate his opponents as condescending to his constituents.) And we agreed that the 2010 results had proved Cantor’s eventual vulnerability. We weren’t some diabolical, well-organized conspiracy to bring him down, so much as a few scattered—if motivated—people talking about their failure to have done so.The New York Times questioned it's data driven reporting, but ignored that the insurgents had good data to run their campaign.
Then we started discussing tactics. The tea partiers already knew how to mobilize the folks who showed up at tea party meetings: what they needed was a way to find supporters or potential supporters who were unlikely to bother with regular meetings. Stevens and I thought that a more organized attack from the right could help Democrats, too—either by prompting a future three-candidate race (which might give the Democrat a fighting chance) or by inducing a competitive Republican primary challenge that would force Cantor to burn cash protecting up his flank that might otherwise be spent on competitive races elsewhere. (A primary campaign resulting in Cantor’s defeat, of course, hardly crossed our minds. When Parada mentioned it, I recall calling the possibility “fanciful.”) Stevens and I saw no harm in mentioning strategies that tea partiers might use to reach sporadic Republicans or far-right “independents” who were less likely to support Cantor than other Republicans. We shared data-science techniques for voter targeting and for evaluating the relative cost of earning the votes of different types of voters.
The Post story continues:
Anyone who wants their elected leaders held accountable—and reminded that they work for the citizens—might count Tuesday’s primary as a win. As McGuire Woods Managing Partner Jonathan Blank, a former local Democratic Party chairman, told me happily: “It is another signal to both parties that the politics of ‘no’ is unsustainable.” There is another message from this, though. Any citizen who works hard and cooperates with others can make a difference in our society, and even in our electoral history.Congratulations to Brian Umana and Jonathan Stevens on your win.
And don't forget, toss $3 to our Democrat candidate Jack Tramell. Ratf***ing the primary does no good if we don't win the general.