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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.

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 New York Times questioned it's data driven reporting, but ignored that the insurgents had good data to run their campaign.

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.


Was it a good idea for Democrats to share data with tea partiers to unseat Cantor?

39%48 votes
38%46 votes
21%26 votes

| 121 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm pretty sure (6+ / 0-)

    the odds of a Democrat being elected in that district are slim to none.

    However, should that happen, yay!

    Should that NOT happen, and Brat wins, then he gets thrust to center stage as the dumbest box of rocks in the House next to Gohmert and Bachmann (who will retire the day he takes office, but still). He'll be the PR gift that keeps on giving to Democrats.

    The way I figure it, it's heads we win, tails you lose.

    Now how much any alleged ratfucking had to do with Brat's primary win is a matter of some debate; Markos is right, however, that no amount of Democratic manipulation explains the 46 point gap between Cantor's internal polls and the actual results.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:01:27 AM PDT

    •  We have a shot. (8+ / 0-)

      Brat sounds like a real Ayn Rand loony. The race will get national attention, so the Democrat won't be completely broke.

      Brat will be forced to debate, which should be fun to watch. He'll have a tough time defending laissez-faire economics while voters still remember the Great Recession.

      This race is worth a donation.

      •  Economics Professor + Divinity Degree. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raptavio, murrayewv

        Rand sounds like a Brat looney.

        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 Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:18:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's very Michele Bachmann (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VickiL, Munchkn, Lujane, kurt

          She has an accounting degree and subscribes to the Christian Dominionist worldview of Francis Schaeffer. These are people who are still angry that the Enlightenment happened:

          The iconic image from the early episodes is Schaeffer standing on a raised platform next to Michelangelo’s “David” and explaining why, for all its beauty, Renaissance art represented a dangerous turn away from a God-centered world and toward a blasphemous, human-centered world. But the film shifts in the second half. In the sixth episode, a mysterious man in a fake mustache drives around in a white van and furtively pours chemicals into a city’s water supply, while Schaeffer speculates about the possibility that the U.S. government is controlling its citizens by means of psychotropic drugs. The final two episodes of the series deal with abortion and the perils of genetic engineering.
          From the New Yorker 2011 article on Bachmann "Leap of Faith"

          And just like Bachmann, Mr. Brat has examples of his insane thoughts in this vein, which his new campaign staff are furiously scrubbing from the net. Thank goodness for cached material. Some wonderfully crazy videos are going to pop up and I'm giddy with the anticipation!

          This is the best thing that could have happened to make this election more competitive. And entertaining.

          Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

          by bull8807 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 12:02:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yesterday Joe Madison said VA-07 is 20% Black (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VickiL, raptavio, Munchkn, Lujane

      ....assuming he's right, perhaps intense GOTV just might pull a rabbit out of a hat....

      Move the district from fucking "bitchface" Cantor to an egghead college professor would be insanely satisfying...

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 12:48:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why did Republicans vote for Brat? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Brat did well all over that district, it appears.

      If he did well because those voters support his positions on the issues, then they'll for him in the general election.

      If a lot of Republican voters were just motivated to cast a vote against Cantor, without actually liking Brat or his positions, then they may vote for the Democrat (or stay home).

      From what I've seen, I suspect a lot of voters disliked Cantor because he lost touch with his district, but they were sure he was going to win the primary, so they voted for Brat to send Cantor a message that he should shape up. Some stayed home because they couldn't bring themselves to vote for Cantor, but they weren't keen on Brat, either--plus the stay-at-homes may also have assumed that it was a sure thing for Cantor.

  •  What, you can't put "Ratfarted" into diary (4+ / 0-)

    titles now?

  •  Did we at least send flowers to the rat? nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sajiocity, Munchkn

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 12:53:45 PM PDT

  •  I don't know the answer to this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but does the math work if you assume a given amount of crossover Dems, say, the difference between the 2014 and 2012 turnouts, and say, a 15% sort-of-Bradley effect (in this case voters telling pollsters they would vote for Cantor because they are ashamed to admit that they are really voting for a tea partier)
    Also, note that he ran more against Wall Street than against immigration, and btw, anti immigrant feelings have appeal to working class Dem males, especially in red districts. It appears that this populism is a fraud, btw, but that means that a truthful populist message could work in the general.
    This could be isolated to Va 07, but if it does have objective meaning it would mean that we would be better off with progressives and new dealers than third wayers. (no shit Sherlock)

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