Monday, November 30, 2009

these numbers have to change

I found this on Daily Kos today.

This has to change. Part of what made New Jersey and Virginia take a sharp right turn at the beginning of this month (it seems like forever ago, I know) was the lack of enthusiasm from the Democratic base (in VA's case a bad candidate, and in NJ's case an unpopular incumbent.) Neither candidate had the charisma of President Obama. I really can't speak for VA, but I can and will probably blog about in the future a laundry list of what the Democrats in New Jersey could have done to pull this thing off (we almost had it).

New Jersey's midterm elections next year will not be very exciting. Since our governor's races are in odd years, and we have no open positions for senators this year, the top of the ticket will be Congress. No state races, just maybe freeholder and local races depending on the county/municipality. Not very exciting considering in some states you have senators and governors up. It does not mean that the New Jersey Democrats can sit on their asses and watch TV o election day, it means we have to vote as if Obama is on the top of the ticket.

Part of the problem lies in the Democrats in Washington-- it's a little-known fact that President Obama did more in his first year than any president since FDR. However in general, nationwide the Democrats are not running with it. Of course there are always a few exceptions to the rule. We have less than a year until the elections, and 40% of Democrats need to be convinced to get their asses to the polls.

Here is what can be done at the national level by Democrats in Congress and President Obama (courtesy of Democratic Underground)
1) Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act and actually do something for their constituents in the LGBT community.
2) Pass healthcare reform with a robust public option that will compete with private insurance. Let Americans CHOOSE whether they want public or private health insurance.
3) Pull out of Afghanistan. It's very clear that the American public is not in favor of this war that we've been in way too long. Get our troops home and stop spending our tax dollars there.
4) After healthcare reform is passed, make 2010 all about jobs. If people see that the Democrats are the party that put them back to work (in good-paying jobs, I'm not talking about Walmart or McDonald's here), then they will come to the polls with bells on. If people are back to work in good-paying jobs, then they will start paying taxes again, and tax revenues for all levels of government (federal, state, county, local) will be up. They'll be spending their $$$ again and sales tax revenues will be up.

And here is what can be done at the local and county level
1) Identify your base-- find out who they are and where they live. Open your campaign HQ in the towns with the highest concentration of registered Democrats.
2) Have fund raisers for all budgets. Have everything from a $10 ice cream social to a $5000 black tie dinner. Do not leave any dollar behind.
3) Reach out to the younger voters including the ones that are too young to vote in 2010. Even though they may not be 18, they still can canvass, phone bank, street canvass, and get their friends involved in the campaign.
4) Have several Q&A sessions with candidates so that anyone who wishes to can meet them and ask them a question (of course conduct these civilly so the teabaggers do not take over)
5) Have volunteers and staffers reach out to their peers first-- do you want to reach seniors? Have other seniors reach out to them. People respond more to their peers.
6) If there is a big name stumping for anyone-- advertise the event. If many people are expected, put strings on the tickets (for example a ticket in exchange for volunteering).
7) Last but not least preach to the damn choir first.

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