Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

Ok, I think it's fair to say that progressive messaging drives turnout.  283,000 Democrats turned out for this race, and there are now 30,000 or so new Democrats.  That's 43% turnout, which is a record for Connecticut in a primary. And this primary was held in August, when 'everyone in Connecticut is away'. I don't think so.

Now, there's no telling what the turnout will be in the fall, but for the first time there's a good reason to sense that people will go to the polls voting with a real choice. Already, candidates across the country are branding themselves as Ned Lamont Democrats, or being branded as such. So whether you like it or not, the Democratic Party is finally unified, and it's unified around the progressives wing of the party.  The Democratic Party has rejected Bush and his enablers, and held itself accountable for its own errors. This should give a lot of people confidence that the Democratic Party is willing to hold Bush and the Republican leadership accountable for their criminal activities.

There are also a lot of tactical lessons here in terms of turnout. The internet works extremely well when it's paired with an effective media and field campaign. The Dean campaign couldn't build the field operation in time, and the paid media side wasn't very good. For the first time with Lamont, we saw an integrated internet-message-field campaign, and it worked really well among its targeted universe. This makes sense. The media messaging created a context for conversation, the internet supplied that conversation, and the field campaign organized around that conversation. If you hear compelling ideas from enough sources, and then a friend asks you to act on those ideas, you do.

Finally, the informal alliance between African-American progressives, white progressive organizers and bloggers, and disaffected union members can beat any Democrat in any primary anywhere in the country. If you can attach an effective general election strategy to that alliance, we have a progressive America. I believe there's name for such a strategy, though I can't seem to figure out what it is. Gosh, I just can't remember. Oh yeah, it starts with an I or something like that.

Iraq.

Tags: Class II Senators, Connecticut, CT-Sen, Joe Lieberman, Ned Lamont (all tags)

Comments

33 Comments

Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout
Matt --
What was urban African-American turnout like?  I read somewhere that despite the heavy hitters on both sides, it was pretty low.  If so, what do you think the reasons are, and do we need to be focusing on this for November?
by katerina 2006-08-09 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

I'll be curious to see how, when and who the DNC approaches in the blogsphere for working on the Fall. And I'll also be curious as to how the blogsphere answers.

by mainsailset 2006-08-09 09:47AM | 0 recs
I'd be more interested

In seeing who the DLC attempts to contact about blogging.

I don't think Dean and the DNC have anything to worry about. Just imagine how you would be feeling if the DCCC, the DSCC and the DLC had carried the day over Dean on the 50 State Strategy? Probably screaming and banging your keyboard over the lost opportunities

Well the DNC and the netroots collectively acted to not let that happen. I am not sure what the current count of seats contested by Democrats but I know we didn't miss many. Who knows if we will get that political tsunami this Fall, it is nice to know we have people across the country ready to catch the wave if it happens.

by Bruce Webb 2006-08-09 10:30AM | 0 recs
Why would they answer

Maybe I don't now what a blog is supposed to be.   I thought blogs were supposed to be personal in nature and free from "establishment" control.  

I think any blogger would lose credibility if they allowed themselves to become tied too closely to any one candidate or organization.   They would risk being viewed as nonsense, like 'Blogs for Bush' or similar crap.

by dpANDREWS 2006-08-09 11:24AM | 0 recs
Young voters?

Were Joe's censorship  crusades a factor?

by benmasel 2006-08-09 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Young voters?

Yep. Wile no longer "young", my teens and early 20's were during they heyday of fuddy-duddy sanctimonious Joe saving me from naughty song lyrics. I loathed him then, and it stuck.

I find it funny this ass thinks of himself as moral. He fights against naughty lyrics and vieo games, while selling out women on Scalito, common people on the bankruptcy bill, young working class kids who signed up for the military as their only route to college with elective wars, etc...

How exactly is that moral, vs ostentatiously sanctimonious on trivialities?

by ElitistJohn 2006-08-09 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

"So whether you like it or not, the Democratic Party is finally unified, and it's unified around the progressives wing of the party."

"Like it or not"?  I love it.

My problem is that I can hardly believe it.

by Marc in KS 2006-08-09 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

This all going to be very interesting.

Let's see how this Loserman thing turns out. I think a Loserman independent candidacy with support from Rove will be a blessing in disguise as it could help the Dems unify behind a "change the course" solid Dem run for congress.

The DC Dem leadership would be foolish to play "footsie" here. They can clearly see what an energized Dem base can do and they'll want every ounce of that energy if they want to run congress next year by winning in Nov.

This is a watershed election for this electoral season.

by ab initio 2006-08-09 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

Someone should really talk to the Lamont about their GOTV and get it over to the DNC so that they can give this info to other Dems this fall to see what ideas maybe applicable to their individual campaigns

by bruh21 2006-08-09 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

The DC/DLC NeoDem establishment has been trying to kill the populist revolution since 2003. They've used their corporate media connections, their corporate money, and their unearned status as brahmins and stewards of the party's purpose and destiny. They barely managed to assassinate Dean's populist candidacy, but since then it's been all downhill for them.

During the Lamont Challenge (and even now still) they railed against The People who no longer trust nor want their royal guidance. But it's now been demonstrated that they can rant and rail all they want. Nobody is listening to them but themselves.

They now have a choice before them -- to come to The People and serve THEM and remain in office, or stay with their corporate masters (with their dirty money) and be eventually sent into oblivion.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 10:46AM | 0 recs
Really?

the informal alliance between African-American progressives, white progressive organizers and bloggers, and disaffected union members can beat any Democrat in any primary anywhere in the country.

Any resemblance to Dean's scream speech is cannily eery.

Let's test the theory with a look at the Class II Dem Senators:

Baucus, Max
Biden, Joseph
Durbin, Richard
Harkin, Tom
Johnson, Tim
Kerry, John
Landrieu, Mary
Lautenberg, Frank
Levin, Carl
Pryor, Mark
Reed, Jack
Rockefeller, John

In that lot, one finds a whole slew of Fristies: Baucus, Biden, Johnson, Landrieu, Pryor regularly come through for the Video Doctor when he comes up short.

Who will the informal alliance be targeting among those DINOs?

(Landrieu, of course, could help the alliance out by flipping in January, now that the protection of the jungle primary has been withdrawn in favor of closed primaries in Federal elections in LA.)

And, in the House, there are loads. It doesn't take much prompting for around 40 Dem reps to vote for a corporate welfare bill (and those are drawn from a bench of, perhaps, twice that number).

In all of that, I wonder what became of the Big Tent? I thought most lefties agreed that the likes of Ben Nelson got a pass as being from a deep red state, being much more liberal than any GOP alternative, and voting for the Dems to organize the Senate.

(Biden is from a blue state: any takers?)

If Lieberman's primary loss had happened in 2004, would the informal alliance have run someone against Nelson this year?

And I'd gained the impression - I've not followed the race, so can't speak to the matter - that Lamont's policy positions, apart from Iraq, aren't spectacularly liberal.

A moment, please, of quiet reflection...

by skeptic06 2006-08-09 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

Good questions. Where do we go from here? Lieberman is just the tip of the corrupt NeoDem iceberg. Who's to be the next chip knocked off of it by the populist movement?

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

Ben Nelson is a known quality in Nebraska and although we Dems hold our noses when we punch his name, the alternatives are so much worse.  I can't think of any Democrat who would or could challenge him before or after Lamont.

Dean's policies, believe it or not, has even impacted heavily on Nebraska.  Not that they are going to impact on '06 voting, but they have infused a little blood back into Dem's dried up veins.

by JFinNe 2006-08-09 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

Ben Nelson is a known quality in Nebraska and although we Dems hold our noses when we punch his name, the alternatives are so much worse.  I can't think of any Democrat who would or could challenge him before or after Lamont.

Just a few months ago that was the conventional wisdom about Lieberman too.

Montana has gone liberal in the last couple of years -- why not Nebraska too? It all has to start with can-do attitude.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

Before waxing the can-do attitude, perhaps an education as to the political, demographic, and cultural differences between Connecticut and Nebraska would be in order.

by InigoMontoya 2006-08-09 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

People are people everywhere. Give them a viable choice and let them decide. To say that's there's no point in even offering them a choice shows little faith in them. That's been one of the problems with the DLC's stewardship of the Democratic party's purpose and message -- it assumes the worst about The People and thinks choice is detrimental.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

I can't speak authoritatively as someone more involved with Ne. politics, but will offer these perspectives:  Nebraskans don't talk politics as it is not polite to do so unless under the covers with someone of like ilk.  Nebraska only has three districts - #2 is composed of mostly only Omaha and surrounding suburbs; #1 is a thin sliver of Ne. from North to South that includes Lincoln. (My county, Saline, is in the third District so if one were to use a ruler and draw a N/S line east of Saline that is where the #3 begins.)  All the rest is #3 and includes the vast amount land-wise of Ne.  Most of this area does not get media coverage from Eastern Ne. and gets all their information from Denver, Co.  So, population stacks the politics in Ne., however, once in a while Nebraska suprises itself by electing outstanding Progressive leaders (Bob Kerry for one.)  Maybe if we had a John Tester?  Scott Kleeb is running in the #3rd and does seem to be very promising.

by JFinNe 2006-08-09 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

once in a while Nebraska suprises itself by electing outstanding Progressive leaders (Bob Kerry for one.)

I hate to be always be the bearer of bad news about people's favorite Dems, but BK is a pro-war, anti-liberal, NeoDem, Zellocrat who has criticized Democrats as much if not more than Republicans.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

A name for such a strategy...

...I am America, I am freedom, I am equality, I am justice, I am hope.

I myself am a South African, and as such many people might think me out of line; however, given the extraordinary role that your country plays in world leadership, I think that American politics readily impacts on the rest of us and as such, we should show a keen interest in the political developments within the States.

And this is how the vast majority of the world still sees the United States of America - as a bastion of freedom, equality, justice and hope for all. Certainly NOT as the exclusive, narrow-minded nation that the Republican agenda wants it to become.

by jabulani 2006-08-09 10:56AM | 0 recs
Net Neutrality

I wonder now, that Lamont is the nominee, do his views on net neutrality become more relevant? As you may recall, Lamont sort of skirted the issue when Jonathan asked about it in early June.

But the fact is, as a cable exec, he's not your best ally on this. In fact, read carefully what he told Jonathan, he actually sounds much more like the people I work with, the Hands Off side.

If you're skeptical of that, there's another theory about why Lamont isn't good for net neutrality, in this diary at Kos.

by LookMaNoHands 2006-08-09 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Net Neutrality

Here's what Ned said.....

It's very important that you don't allow the ISPs and the large operators out there to determine who gets access to what content. When it comes down to net neutrality, this is a pipe and we're providing equal access to all of the content providers out there. And the last thing you want is large conglomerates picking and choosing who gets access to what.

I can understand where if there's some services that use up a lot more bandwidth than others, there's a tier or cost that's associated with that. But when it comes to content, when it comes to what people can see, everybody has equal access to that, and again you can't have, again, conglomerates picking and choosing and making those choices on behalf of consumers. That would be wrong, like de facto censorship.

I'm not knowledgeable or versed on the subject, but this sounds to me like what's been said around here by those in the know.

If not, how is it different?

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Net Neutrality

Right. A "tiered" Internet is one that is non-neutral. This is where a site such as YouTube might pay extra for such an Internet fast lane -- there's his reference to "cost." Again, Ned's a cable exec. And the cablecos are definitely with the telcos on this.

If you go back through my postings, you'll see I don't think a non-neutral net is actually a bad idea like, say, Matt at this site does, but it would be curious if the victory of Lamont meant the defeat of NN, don't you think?

by LookMaNoHands 2006-08-09 12:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Net Neutrality

You know, I'm going to diary about this when I get a chance, as part of a larger article.

We've got to get out of the They're For Us or They're Against Us attitude.  

Moving from issue to issue, today's ally will be tomorrow's adversary and vice-versa.  It's called "politics."   Which is why one needs to be careful about which bridges one chooses to permanently burn.  (Don't get me wrong...I was happy to see Lieberman go down in flames.)  Watching Rahm Emmanuel go from villain to hero because of his statements on Lieberman struck me as funny.  He'll be villain again soon enough.   The flip side is when some beloved netroots-backed Progressive takes a stance that runs against the grain...blood in the aisles over such a "betrayal."  

Collectively we need a little more maturity in our outlooks.

by InigoMontoya 2006-08-09 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Net Neutrality

I used to be politically "mature". I accepted things that I thought were wrong because of political calculations and trust in politicians who I assumed knew what was right better than me because they knew more than me.

"Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now."

What's needed is LESS cynical maturity and MORE idealistic youth.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Net Neutrality

"Moving from issue to issue, today's ally will be tomorrow's adversary and vice-versa."

Absolutely right InigoMontoya.  You will never agree with anyone, politician or not, all the time and if you did the world would be awfully boring.  I look forward to your diary.

by John Mills 2006-08-09 12:47PM | 0 recs
I'm not so sure.

This was just one race.  I think the turnout was driven by a lot of things ... a perfect storm if you will.

You had an old Senator who has lost touch with the people back home.  You had the unpopular war and the out of touch Senator that supported it.   You had a challenger who proved to be a good candidate, who could hold his own in spite of inexperience on the trail.  Lastly, this candidate had millions of his own cash to throw at the race.

Now if this race had just turned on more tradional progressive concerns ... healthcare, education, social justice, etc.  ... and the war was not the issue, and if Joementum had been taking care of business back home instead of grandstanding in D.C all the time, who knows what the outcome would have been.

by dpANDREWS 2006-08-09 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

There are other NeoDems who it might not take a perfect storm to ged rid of. Just giving local voters a primary choice may be all it takes.

The first step to challenging entrenched power is believing you can succeed. The next step is having the courage to go forward even though you know you might not succeed.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 11:28AM | 0 recs
Preference, Preference, Preference

Sorry, but turnout is always remarkably overstated as a deciding factor.

Elections are not won by out-registering or out-energizing the other side. That was the mythology that infuriated me throughout 2004, with all the blog nonsense that our registration drives were somehow worth 3% net to Kerry.

Meanwhile, Kerry could have more than overwhelmed all the registration drives by reaching into living rooms with a superior message and likability that would have translated into perhaps a 2-3 point net gain nationwide. Now dump that atop every state including Ohio and he's president today.

I don't mean to diminish GOTV or all the remarkable efforts in behalf of Lamont. Obviously it's necessary, for that little boost in the event of a cliffhanger. Like last night. Hell, I drove a GOTV van on election day in 2002 and 2004 and will do so again this year. But whenever I read the inevitable sentences like, "it's all about turnout," I have to chuckle in disbelief.

Lamont's performance now through November will decide his fate. Much more than money or endorsements or GOTV. Or should I say Lamont's performance along with Lieberman's. I'll sign up for three more months of masochistic implosion right now.

by jagakid 2006-08-09 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

once in a while Nebraska suprises itself by electing outstanding Progressive leaders (Bob Kerry for one.)

I hate to be always be the bearer of bad news about people's favorite Dems, but BK is a pro-war, anti-liberal, NeoDem, Zellocrat who has criticized Democrats as much if not more than Republicans.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout
This is a kind of triumphalism we'd object to from the other side. Victory laps are great, but this is just not true. "Finally, the informal alliance between African-American progressives, white progressive organizers and bloggers, and disaffected union members can beat any Democrat in any primary anywhere in the country." We have an obligation, even in victory-- ESPECIALLY in victory-- to keep one foot on the ground and not overpromise. We couldn't possibly win with that coalition in any of a dozen or more states I could mention. It's going to be a long 2 1/2 years, and we should be prepared to do the hard work of appealing BEYOND those three segments you mention because they aren't a majority in anywhere near half of the tossup races. Sorry, but come back down to earth sometime soon, OK?
by nonymous 2006-08-09 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

if you need that harpy maxine waters to generate turnout, then that is a sign you have strayed too far from the reservation

by epic610 2006-08-09 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

Yes. I was one that thought this race was deemed to important.  Defeating DeWine and Santorum would be far more resounding.

But this is a kick.  Listening to Hannity and Levine.  I had no idea LIEberman was the combination of Truman and Roosevelt.

Wonder why the two dimwits never mentioned that in the 2000 race.

by skeeters 2006-08-09 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Turnout, Turnout, Turnout

"Yes. I was one that thought this race was deemed to important.  Defeating DeWine and Santorum would be far more resounding."

Knocking off the NeoDem poster boy  JoMo in a primary he should have owned is a BIG step toward reforming the Democratic Party.

Beating crazy Republicans like Santa and Wino is great, but if DINOs like JoMo (former Democrat in his case) are still around to continue collaborating with Bush and the GOP -- even as the majority party, then little will have been gained except better Congressional office space for Democrats.

by Sitkah 2006-08-09 09:42PM | 0 recs

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