CA-46: Momentum Building For Debbie Cook
by Todd Beeton, Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 10:26:59 AM EDT
The Capitol Weekly in Sacramento is reporting that GOP internal polling shows my race against Dana Rohrabacher to be in a statistical dead heat.
The article says: "According to GOP sources, internal polling shows the difference between Rohrabacher and Cook, the mayor of Huntington Beach, to be within the margin of error, although Rohrabacher has heavily outspent Cook."
And it couldn't have come at a better time.
On Sunday, Jim Dean came to Huntington Beach to headline a small dollar breakfast fundraiser for Debbie. More than 100 people showed up at 8:30am on a Sunday in the middle of Orange County for pancakes and eggs and to support Debbie Cook. The energy was palpable and it's clear that Cook is feeling the momentum. When I saw her speak at a fundraiser a month ago, she spoke deliberately, thoroughly and eloquently in an unabashedly progressive yet pragmatic way about not just energy, which, as she puts it, is "my obsession, it's my passion," but also the economic crisis and healthcare, which she gets is still very much on people's minds. But this time, while Cook was no less thoughtful and intelligent on the issues, there was a newfound passion in her voice, even anger, and you could plainly see what it was that has driven her to go from PTA president to environmental activist to City Councilmember to Mayor...and soon, to replace lazy crazy do-nothing Dana Rohrabacher in Congress.
David Dayen from Calitics was there as well:
"Do-Nothing Dana has been in Congress for 20 years and hasn't done a thing," Cook, the mayor of Huntington Beach, said to a pancake breakfast of around 120 volunteers who were ready to precinct walk for her. Referring to a claim from the campaign's latest ad, that Rohrabacher has sponsored a bill to protect the country from an asteroid, she said, "he needs to worry less about asteroids and more about planet Earth." [...]
"This is the first time he's had to get off his lazy a$% and campaign," she said. And he was slow to do it. He only spent $38,000 in the third quarter, but once internal Republican polls have shown the race to be a dead heat, he has swamped the district with money. He's got 4 positive ads on the air and a bunch of negative mailers attacking Debbie as an "extreme liberal" on various issues.
To give you a sense of the strange habits of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, last year he reportedly dressed up in drag to visit Sirhan Sirhan in prison in hopes of solving RFK's assassination. No, really. He did. There's also the matter that Rohrabacher, a proud global warming denier, is completely out of touch with the district.
But this isn't just about getting the residents of the 46th district some real representation in congress. As Jim Dean said in his speech yesterday, this is a nationalized race, it is about sending a smart progressive energy expert to Washington as part of what will ideally be Barack Obama's expanded House majority, which will benefit the whole country, not just Southern California.
And to that end, after breakfast, most of the 100+ activists who attended yesterday hit the pavement and went door to door for Debbie all throughout the district, Dave and I included. The strategy of the GOTV for Debbie is an interesting one. It's not just about turning out the reliable Democrats -- they figure they'll definitely be at the polls for Barack if nothing else -- but rather it's about getting the word out to the Republicans, the Decline to States and the less reliable Democrats about Debbie, and I have to say I was a bit surprised by what I saw.
I encountered one guy who hates Rohrabacher so he assured me that Debbie had two solid votes in his house; another woman, a registered Republican, assured me she'd be voting straight Democratic this year; and then another woman, a Democrat, told me that while she hadn't made up her mind yet, she had heard a lot of good things from people in Huntington Beach about Debbie. But these were the minority. The vast number of people had no idea who was running for congress let alone who their sitting congressman was. Two weeks left and several people told me, a bit defensively, that they hadn't yet begun to research that election. And many of these people are registered Democrats who are going to be voting for Barack Obama. The untapped potential pool of voters that Debbie Cook has for the taking is sizable and I couldn't help but think that my knocking on that door, smiling, talking up Debbie and leaving them with literature, literally may have been the difference between a vote for Debbie and a vote for do nothing Dana. And guess what -- Debbie Cook's campaign, which truly is of the grassroots, is the only one going door to door. That's just how Loretta Sanchez, another Orange County Democrat, beat Bob Dornan in 1996, by sheer force of grassroots door to door will.
So, help Debbie Cook take down do-nothing Dana Rohrabacher and keep her momentum going. The campaign yesterday said they need $75,000 more to get them through election day and it would be great for the blogs to contribute a sizable chunk of that. If you give to Debbie HERE, PeterB will match your first $20 up to $250, so that's a good place to start.
Virtually all the money Debbie is raising is going to airing her new ad on TV in the district. Check it out below: