Youth Turnout Far Lower Than Older Voters

 Mark Blumenthal of Pollster.Com has a story today that includes figures on the turnout rate by age groups. In the 2006 elections younger voters turned out at a rate far below older voters. Only 25.5% of voters 18 - 29 actually voted compared to 63.1% of voters over 60.




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Larry Flint on the Hunt for Hypocrisy Again`

So basically this is what's going down.  Larry Flint (I think) owns Hustler magazine.  In 1998 he had an ad in the paper saying "1,000,000 dollars if you can give any information on a congressperson, senator, or other high ranking official involved in a sex scandal with some sort of documentary proof." 

In 1998 this forced Speaker-Elect Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA) to resign.  At the time it was used as a tool to weed out hypocrisy.  They were on the hunt for Clinton, meanwhile similar things were going on behind closed doors.

What this ammounts to is trying to draw out reporters who know the good stuff but don't report it for whatever reasons.  

However, it is happening again.  The ad is back, with the incentive of 1,000,000 dollars.  Rather enticing.  Larry said on MSNBC's Hardball today that they have recieved 200 e-mails and are looking into them.  Usually around 2% will actually pan out into something he added.  (That seemed more like an on the spot guess to me though).  

I didn't see a diary on it, so I thought I'd throw it out there to keep our eyes on in case if something good comes out of it.

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How Nancy Boyda Won: Shutting Out the Dem Consultants

Campaigns and Electionshas an online issue this month about the successes and failures of various 2006 campaigns.  While it's somewhat marred by letting GOP/Lieberman partisans write some of the articles, the piece on Nancy Boyda's campaign is pretty good.  Click on the link, then click forward to page 58.  In a nutshell, she didn't let the party tell her what stands to take, or how to get her message across, and she won as a Democrat in Kansas.  You knew that already, but the story adds a lot of depth and detail.

In 2004, Boyda let the DCCC tell her how to run a campaign, and lost by 15%.  In 2006, they ignored the DCCC and its consultants, and ran a ground-up campaign that started with yard signs and billboards, advanced to 12- and 16-page inserts in a whole bunch of local papers across the district (cost for district-wide coverage for each insert: $25,000), and finally, locally-produced, non-cookie-cutter TV ads.  In one such ad, a cat walks across the table in front of Boyda.  Not exactly your scripted ad (try to script a cat!), but the different feel of her ads helped get people to notice them.

And Boyda addressed the issues aggressively, in particular taking a strong position against the Iraq war. As she said during the campaign, "the American people have to understand there aren't any good solutions.  When you drive over a cliff, your options are very limited." It's hardly what a Rahm Emmanuel-picked candidate would have said, and that's probably why it worked.

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Expanding the Playing Field: The New CW

Here's what Chris Cillizza of the WaPo had to say yesterday about that ridiculous idea of expanding the playing field in Congressional elections.  Guess 2006 reversed the CW on that topic!  (More at the link.)

Democrats believe they have convinced the outgoing mayor of Kansas City, Mo., Kay Barnes, to challenge [Rep. Sam] Graves [R-MO] in 2008, in one of a handful of early recruiting successes that, national party strategists argue, will allow them to greatly expand the playing field of competitive races that November.

That strategy paid major dividends for Democrats in 2006 as they upset previously safe incumbents in Kansas, California and Arizona, and came mighty close in the GOP strongholds of Idaho and Wyoming. Democrats hope to repeat that game plan in 2008, aided by the continued dismal national political environment for Republicans.

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Jim Jontz, Progressive Hero

When he was 22, back in 1974, Jim Jontz ran as a long-shot candidate for the Indiana State House against the Republican House Majority Leader.  He was mainly trying to draw attention to the effort he was organizing to stop a dam-building project in his rural district, but he ran hard.  He knocked on every door in his rural district, and he won by 2 votes.

The dam was done, but Jim was just getting started.  

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