No Fifty-State Strategy For Republicans
by Chris Bowers, Sun Oct 29, 2006 at 11:53:52 AM EST
- ID-01: Club for growth funded primary candidate bill Sali only two points ahead of Democrat Larry Grant in latest poll.
- CO-05: Club for growth funded primary candidate Doug Lamborn facing serious competition form Jay Fawcett. One poll shows the race tied, the other shows Lamborn up 13% in a district Bush won by 35%.
- OH-02: Club for growth funded candidate Jean Schmidt yet again facing serious Democratic challenger within the margin of error in a district Bush won by 26%.
- MN-06: Theocon Michelle Bachmann emerged from the primary, but now some polls show her trailing Democrat Patty Wetterling in this supposedly solid red district.
- RI-02. After surviving against Jennifer Lawless, Jim Langevin faces no opposition for re-election.
- CT-Sen. Republican Alan Schlesinger is in the single digits in every poll in this district.
- CA-36. After surviving against Marcy Winograd, Jane Harman's Republican opponent has raised less than $10,000.
- MD-04: After stealing the lection form Donna Edwards, Al Wynn's Republican opposition has raised less than $10,000.
- TX-28: After narrowly surviving against Ciro Rodriguez, Henry Cuellar faces no opposition for re-election
To provide an anecdote to this thesis, I live in one of those districts, PA-02, and when I was walking to a coffee-shop this morning I saw a Lynn Swann sticker on a car for the first time. It actually took me a little while to realize what the sticker said, because even though I could tell from far away that it was a political bumper sticker, I had never seen one quite like it before. When I realized it was a Lynn Swann sticker, I laughed out loud because it occurred to me I had never seen one before. I also laughed because in a way it made sense. As a precinct captain, I have access to the partisan registration of the 700 or so registered voters in my precinct. About 11% of them are registered Republicans. Find me a precinct in the entire country where Democrats are down to 11% registration. Once you do that, I'll show you 10,000 other precincts like mine. There are just no Republicans here.
Areas like mine are spreading to now cover entire states and regions. Republicans are on the verge of total collapse in New England, New York, and eastern Pennsylvania, where at least fifteen Republican-held seats (out of nineteen Republican held seats in those areas) are in serious jeopardy. Multiple seats in states like Illinois, Washington, Minnesota, California, and Colorado, could change hands (not to mention seats in "red states" like Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, and Florida, which could also see multi-seat Democratic pickups). At the same time, multiple Democrats in each of these states are facing either no opposition or token opposition. This is where the truly crippling rub for Republicans comes in: there are huge areas of the country where Democrats are already in the majority, and the remaining Republicans are clinging for dear life. Further, the already extent Democratic majority in those areas is typically facing either no Republicans opposition or token opposition. In other words, the 25% of the country that Republicans have abandoned tend to be closely grouped with the areas of the country where Democrats can make substantial gains this year. Basically, this means that when Republicans finally lose in many of these areas, they won't be coming back. For example, Republicans abandoned Philadelphia a long time ago, but now every seat they lose in Philadelphia suburbs this year won't be changing hands again for a long, long time. The blue, urban dots they left behind are spreading and becoming larger, as they slowly transform into full-blown blue regions.
Even if the entire transformation does not happen in 2006, the progressive movement is operating and pushing outward in areas that Republicans have abandoned, while the conservative movement is being seriously challenged by Democrats even in districts like ID-01, OH-02, and CO-05. As long as that environment doesn't change, the country will move to the left. As we wreck havoc in their back lines, and operate free of their influence in our back lines (expect when they make alliances with LieberDem types in our back lines), the water around conservative governance will continue to grow. Electoral politics isn't everything, but at least partially because of the progressive movement's full-blown fifty-state strategy, and because the conservative movement has abandoned theirs, conservatives are on the defensive for the first time in a long time.
I point this out so that we remember to continue charging hard everywhere even when we are in power, which hopefully won't be that long form now. If we win, we can't allow victory to breed complacency, lest we face the same fate as the once mighty Democratic majority, and the narrow, but once seemingly invincible, Republican majority. The fifty-state strategy is not just a tactic to take power, but to keep it as well. Until this year, Republicans always ran more candidates than we did, and refused to concede far fewer states and districts than they did. When our will to fight everywhere surpassed theirs, we seized the advantage. You better believe that the moment they once again pass in that category, they will take the advantage back.