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Welcome to the debut of my newest feature entitled "Taking Back The House:  2014".  I'm aware of the current truth that mid-terms are not a good time for the incumbent President's party.  We all remember what happened in 2010 and are unlikely to forget that night anytime soon.

However, I remain an optimist in the sense that the low popularity of the House Republicans will hurt them.  They are the party in power in the House and the wave that rode them to sweeping electoral victory, will be more subdued two years later.  When the Tea Party catches wind that some of their favorites voted for the "fiscal cliff" deal and have yet to do a thing other than obstruct, it might get fairly ugly for the GOP.

Or so we hope.

When I was thinking of how to start this feature, my brain immediately settled on one candidate that could signify what I’d aspire to get done.  I support a House in which most of its members do their jobs and are rarely known to anyone other than their constituents.  Of course, that’s impossible but when a candidate puts their political aspirations above their people (which is all-too-common on both sides of the aisle), they will be put on blast.  When regression, not progression, is the ultimate goal; they will deserve a spot here.

So who signifies that better than Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.  Representing Minnesota’s 6th district since 2006, Bachmann probably deserves no introduction for all the headlines she has very proudly generated.  Yet, let’s take a look at the legislative, electoral and overall career of Michele Bachmann.


-Bringing up, for the 34th time, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
If there could be anything that will automatically earn you a place on this spot, it’s actions like these.  The ACA is the law of the land and slowly become more integrated into our health care system.  The fact that this cannot essentially get repealed until 2017 is noteworthy.  This is a bill that’s created to throw “red meat” to national conservatives and to generate some early headlines.  It’s a waste of time that could be used to well….stonewall other bills and make John Boehner weep but time nonetheless.

-The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act
This Bachmann’s other signature piece of legislation, another one that is advocating a repeal and another one that was not enacted.  The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act would signify the repeal of the government ban of incandescent light bulbs.


-Founder of the Tea Party Caucus
-Notably went on Hardball With Chris Matthews and encouraged investigations to determine if members of Congress were “anti-American”.
-Won Ames Straw Poll in 2011 which would lead to her collapsing in polls and dropping out of the presidential race the day after the Iowa Caucus.
-Claimed President Obama wanted to enact Sharia Law in America.
-Claimed Huma Abedin was part of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence even though she has no foreign policy credentials.  

Electoral History:

2006: Bachmann (R): 50.1%, Patty Wetterling (D): 42.1%, John Binkowski (I): 7.8%
2008: Bachmann (R): 46.4%, Elwyn Tinklenberg (D), 43.4%, Bob Anderson (I): 10%
2010: Bachmann (R): 52.5%, Taryl Clark (D): 39.8%, Anderson (I): 5.8%
2012: Bachmann (R): 50.5%, Jim Graves (D): 49.5%

Cook PVI:


I would say that this list should begin with Jim Graves, who gave Bachmann the closest run for her seat.  Graves is a small-business owner and a local Minnesotan who nearly won even by being outspent from 10:1 margin.  To learn more about Graves, check out his bio on his website here.

I believe that he is the best contender though I would like to hear what somebody from Minnesota might know.

Why We Can Do This:

The district is pretty significantly Republican but Bachmann has barely crossed over 50% of the vote, even in the tidal wave that was 2010.  Now, she is an amazing fundraiser but her reputation is so well-known that I don’t think money can erase all the obstruction she has done in the House.  Bachmann has reached her ceiling, it appears, so what the DFL of Minnesota might have to do is make this a very local race considering Bachmann is a highly national figure.

The fact that Bachmann has difficulties staying north of 50% gives us hope in 2014.  Fundraising for the opponent could be a national exercise and if started early enough, we could see some good results.

Remember if Bachmann is out of politics, it would be a huge blow to the Tea Party and would help us regain our sanity.

To sort of paraphrase her, “Repeal and Replace Bachmann”.

(Note on this feature:  We cannot sit idly as the majority Republican House does nothing.  Can we guarantee that a Democratic majority would change things?  Not at all.  But we can try.

Hence why I’m also putting this in your hands.  Share this on your Facebook, “like” candidate’s (which we will tout) Facebook pages, retweet posts from here and maybe even send it to your local Democratic Party.  If we are going to take back the House, with a fairly sizable Republican majority, then it’s going to take us.  The grassroots.

All campaigns are national, but stay local.  It would be great to have a Democratic Party that goes back to the “50-state strategy”.

But it all starts with us, the voters.  Us, the netrooters.  Us, the people.  Let’s start this project now and see what we are capable of.)

11:10 PM PT: 1/06/13 2:09AM:  Rec List?  Thank you all so much including the Rescue Rangers!  

-For those just reading or not reading, please mention in the comments how often we should all do this feature and any other ideas on how to make it better!  Thank you all.

Originally posted to RVKU on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 06:49 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (136+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ontheleftcoast, walkabout, Chi, northcountry21st, HoosierDeb, Naniboujou, Alan Arizona, Chacounne, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, Boppy, Purple Priestess, chrississippi, Odysseus, annieli, Urban Owl, Steveningen, Rolfyboy6, stevenaxelrod, Judge Moonbox, SoCalLiberal, Radiowalla, sow hat, bobsc, MRA NY, pollbuster, Lujane, Chaddiwicker, elwior, Shippo1776, Siri, Nebraskablue, Free Jazz at High Noon, Davui, nomandates, begone, Leo Flinnwood, deepeco, NotGeorgeWill, Lorikeet, CA ridebalanced, weatherdude, Zaq, MichaelNY, themank, DuzT, 417els, Matt Z, Buckeye54, Mr Horrible, buckstop, rubyclaire, stevenwag, kathny, salustra, howabout, Gustogirl, lostinamerica, anodnhajo, turn Virginia blue, deha, WI Deadhead, wilderness voice, Creosote, Byron from Denver, dotsright, pioneer111, SaintC, elziax, Linda1961, bontemps2012, CharlesII, suesue, Mighty Ike, devtob, MaryinHammondsport, maybeeso in michigan, cactusgal, ljb, pixxer, lcs, Haf2Read, pucklady, jasan, randallt, sunbro, wader, northerntier, Steve In DC, cybersaur, Gowrie Gal, cassandracarolina, bnasley, BlueMississippi, GeorgeXVIII, dopper0189, VTCC73, Pandora, mamamedusa, exNYinTX, KingofSpades, karmsy, Dvalkure, Egalitare, 1BQ, Karen Hedwig Backman, Themistoclea, DeminNewJ, Massconfusion, Bob Duck, bleeding blue, mod2lib, dagnome, antirove, Lefty Ladig, Jim P, Texknight, cocinero, missLotus, liz dexic, davehouck, a2nite, Alexandra Lynch, spunhard, Azazello, Robynhood too, bgblcklab1, Jimdotz, oceanview, bloomer 101, slothlax, molecularlevel, mcgee85, RUNDOWN, Fireshadow, NYC Sophia, Zack from the SFV

    Currently showing an amazed Mitt Romney on what the space bar does.

    by RVKU on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 06:49:11 PM PST

    •  I agree (28+ / 0-)

      I did a quick scan of some the Mayors for some of the bigger cities in her district (Stillwater, St. Cloud) and I couldn't find a Democrat (Elk River's Mayor and Woodbury's I couldn't find information).  

      I think Graves ran an excellent campaign last cycle and I'd have to imagine that he'd like a Round 2.  It's early, but I'm excited.

      Currently showing an amazed Mitt Romney on what the space bar does.

      by RVKU on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:10:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  nobody seems interested in going at her (16+ / 0-)

      twice, so I doubt it. She outspent him 12 to 1 in the last few weeks and smeared the crap out of him. Who would want to do that twice?

      The district has a very hardened, bitter evangelical GOP base, but in the southern end is growing dramatically more diverse very quickly. I expect this to continue, as some of the evangelicals age out in the next couple of years and more immigrant families, in particular, move in.

      But I doubt that will take use to anything but R +5 or 6 in the next two years.

      The big problem is getting dems out to vote in a non-presidential year. The GOP here in MN cleans up in off years.  

      •  Quick Question (8+ / 0-)

        I see that Minnesota sort've redistricted starting January 3rd, 2013.  I saw something about Bachmann's district losing 96,000 votes?  I wonder how that plays out in the future for Democrats, do you know?

        But if I recall, didn't Tinklenberg want to run again in 2010 but decided against once Clark started getting DFL support?  

        Sorry for bombarding you with questions, but is there a GOTV volunteer staff in your district for the Democrats?  I'm not too sure on how these things worked, but I always thought (not sure if it's in place or not already) that each district should have one.  I know my district in NJ, a swing one too, doesn't do a great job in advertising for the Dems.

        Currently showing an amazed Mitt Romney on what the space bar does.

        by RVKU on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:31:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The redistricting made mn-06 (11+ / 0-)

          slightly redder; it was done in a fairly impartial manner. MN isn't really gerrymandered, thank goodness.

          Clark had a lot of dem support, but in 2010 the democratic (known here as the DFL) party was utterly incompetent. That fortunately changed in 2012 with better leadership and the help of Obama's ground operation in getting out democrats.

          The DFL appears to be staying active, but without obama's team on the ground there is no way the numbers will be quite as high in 2014. I do expect them to do better than 2010, though.

          as for GOTV, I am assuming that will be primarily via the DFL, which will be looking to support Mark Dayton (gov) and keeping the legislature. The stakes will be high in that race so it might boost numbers a lot. Dayton has high approval numbers right now and is quite popular.

          •  I see, thank you (6+ / 0-)

            Forgot about the Governor's race, so there should be some intrigue in the race.  I'm sure the DFL's organizing will be mostly tied up in it.  

            Slightly redder is rather worrisome, but knowing how Bachmann is; her Congressional races are probably bound to always be of the 53%-to-47% variety huh?  

            Sorry to bombard you with questions, just curious what courses of action work best.  How did Tinklenberg, Clark and Graves campaign?  Were they just horrifically outspent and had no shot?



            by RVKU on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:47:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tinklenberg and Clarke had 3rd party (6+ / 0-)


              Graves didn't.

              The single most important thing the DFL can do is head off having ANYONE with the "Independent" label on the ballot.

              Why bachmann didn't arrange for such a spoiler in 2012 is beyond me, but if it happens next time, it'll suck up quite a few votes. We're talking 5-15% here in MN depending on the race.

              And note, they don't even have to campaign. The "independent" guy who ran against Clarke actually had no real campaign, was just some guy. He didn't even have the Independent party endorsement. But just being on the ballot a lot of the "I'm better than both parties" idiots will vote for him, and they seem to pull off the dems more than the GOP.

              •  it's also an option (5+ / 0-)

                for moderate Republicans who hate Bachmann but can't bring themselves to vote Democrat.  Keeping the Indy off the ballot forces them to choose, and many will choose the Dem.

                20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
                UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

                by jncca on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:48:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  At this point (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I'm thinking it'd be a better option to keep the DFL off the ballot and run a DFL approved Indy.  We can definitely win that way and I'm starting to think it's impossible for a DFLer to win here, at least in a mid-term election.  When going from Presidential election to mid-term, we are talking about the loss of literally a couple thousand votes alone because of St. Cloud State University.  I live in this district, I know it well, and I can say it'd be damn near impossible to win 2014 with a Democrat.  2012 was the closest we got and it had too many positives for us that were unique; good year for the Democrats, no Indy on the ballot, Graves being an over-all decent candidate, and the biggie, Bachmann having just embarrassed herself on the national stage by running for President.  We won't get that effect in 2014 again.  2016, who knows!  :)

                  But, yeah, I'd give the idea of defeating her being a path towards the House in 2014 a big fart noise.  Sorry, I wish it wasn't so!  Actually, with her, it certainly could happen.  The one thing I leave out is Michele Bachmann is motha fuckin crazy and she could certainly over-do it at any time.  I personally think that if it weren't Colorado movie theatre shooting, her accusing fellow Congressman Keith Ellison of having terrorist ties would've been the big news that day.  Probably would've been enough for the win considering how close Graves got.

              •  If a spoiler appears, run a redder one (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bgblcklab1, oceanview

                Why confine the race to three?  If an "Independent" suddenly decides to run, why not run an uber-Bachmann?  Someone who advocates that schoolchildren be armed and those on Social Security be put in Debtor's Prison?

                Two sides of the poliitical spectrum can play that game.  Let them have a good sip of their own poison and see how they like it.

                I agree.  Let's turn Bachmann into Public Target Number One for 2014.  I am sick to death of seeing her face and listening to her mindless gabble.

          •  Minnesota isn't "gerrymandered" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sawolf, elwior

            But it is a prime example of the fact that a map done on the basis of looking pretty and "keeping communities together" is, inherently, a GOP gerrymander. Why? Because Democratic votes are concentrated in urban areas. The Minneapolis and St. Paul-based districts, MN-05 and MN-04, are far more Democratic than they need to be, especially since there is no VRA reason to do so.

            Where are the votes needed to defeat Bachmann? Keith Ellison is using them to win by 75-25 in MN-05.

            •  Courts drew the maps (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              So the only way that what you're suggesting would ever happen is under a DFL gerrymander

            •  the same redistricting (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, elwior, oceanview, slothlax

              produced the most democratic legislature in years, so with smaller districts, it is working fine.

              It could certainly have been a lot worse. And one result of spreading out those votes more would probably be no Keith Ellison - maybe a couple of timid blue dogs instead.

              •  60% Dem rather than 75% would still (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, GoUBears

                keep Ellison quite safe.

                20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
                Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
                UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

                by jncca on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:49:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  someone try doing the map (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  The only way that you can do anything like this is if you go beyond what is seen anywhere else in the country in extremism gerrymandering.  And pretty sure the one time I did such a map, it involved splitting Minneapolis three times.  Any sane DFL gerrymander would give Bachmann a vote sink as we go after Paulsen and Kline.  The portion of Bachmann's district that gives her the win is simply too far from Keith Ellison's district.  Give her the vote sink and create 7/1, done.  She can be the GOP spokesperson for the state!  Especially if they still have no one elected statewide and are still in the minority in the legislature by the time 2021 rolls around.

            •  Difference is... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              we stand a better chance of running and winning with a conservative dem in more of their districts than they can running repubs in the cities

              There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

              by slothlax on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:26:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  As a long-range strategy it might be prudent (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, GoUBears

            to leave her there.

            She's nationally well known and so obviously nuts that to the rest of the public she makes the Republicans look even crazier than they already are.

            We're not going to get rid of all of them. I think we might be able win even in 2014 by splitting their vote. Fund some more nut cases, as Claire McCaskell did in Missouri, and get them on the ballot. Teabaggers can't resist voting for the "more conservative" candidate. Split the vote and let the Democrat sneak through.

            The Republicans had to let Dems have some seats--but they made 'em 90% blue. That means even their "safe" their districts are more vulnerable, because they had to spread the red around more.

            If we strategically split the vote by using now-legal dark money to fund the right wingnuts, we could win.

            And let Bachman continue making the Republicans look nuts.

            Enjoy the San Diego Zoo's panda cam! Now with new baby panda! And support Bat World Sanctuary

            by Fonsia on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:41:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Obama in MN (0+ / 0-)

            The Obama campaign in Minnesota was a very limited factor. They had very few staff and didn't do much to help candidates outside of the President. In 2014 the DFL and the Franken and Dayton campaigns will have multiple times the organizing muscle that OFA had in Minnesota this year. In fact, I think OFA was only the fourth largest field operation in Minnesota in 2012.

      •  Forget her (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If you look at her numbers, she is only "threatened", and I use that term loosely, when there is a presidential election to get Minnesota Dems out to the polls.  In off years, she wins comfortably, usually with an independent in the race to siphon off some Dem votes.  

        She is a symbol for the Right.  As such, they'll protect her with tons of money and a nasty campaign at all costs.  She would be an enormous waste of money.  Of course, I think pouring heart and soul into 2014 is an enormous waste of money under any circumstances.  

        Obama is giving away the farm on policy, and the payroll tax hike is already hitting people (two of my friends complained about it to me this weekend).  By 2014, the GOP will have their base all fired up, and the Dem mainstream will be disinterested or worse, angry and frustrated.

        Dems would be best served to keep their powder dry, focus on holding the Mass senate seat, and start looking for the right candidate for 2016.  And, note to progressives,'s not Hillary Clinton (won't run) or Joe Biden (can't win).  Find the right candidate, or say hello to President Christy.

    •  It does not seem like (9+ / 0-)

      a prime district to be unseated.  Bachmann keeps winning.  I am glad to be represented by Keith Ellison.  But we can keep trying to get a Democrat elected in her district.  I honestly thought Wetterling was going to win and Graves looked good, too.

      He that chooses his own path needs no map. Queen Kristina of Sweden.

      by Boppy on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:44:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you! (9+ / 0-)

      I'm not sure how frequent I'll do this, I might just make it rather sporadic as it's also a feature on my personal blog; but I have the next few names already carved out.  

      It'll be a fun break for me when I'm not doing schoolwork or having track practice.

      Currently showing an amazed Mitt Romney on what the space bar does.

      by RVKU on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:11:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Me too. I suggest Oh-14 (11+ / 0-)

      as a prime district to flip. Ohio is brutally gerrymandered. Its votes for Congress almost always break close to 50/50 yet we are currently 75/25 in favor of the GOP in our delegation. Redistricting reform was defeated in November, thanks to GOP lies and distortion and an inept campaign on the pro side. I hope we will continue to put this on the ballot until it passes.

      In the meantime, the Republicans didn't bother to protect 14, making it really the only swing district in Ohio, because (I imagine) they presumed why bother since incumbent Steve LaTourette was so (inexplicably) popular and basically undefeatable.

      I guess no one — certainly not the Democrats who let a ridiculously unqualified contender along the lines of Joe the Plumber sacrifice himself — anticipated LaTourette's retirement. His replacement — the county prosecutor in one of a group of counties that make up the district — isn't nearly as well known or likely to enjoy the same advantages as LaTourette.

      If the Democratic parties in this district can come together and find a halfway decent candidate, we can win this district. Honestly, if it had had any of the last three candidates to take on LaTourette, we might've had a shot this year.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:41:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the scoop! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, RandomNonviolence, elwior

        Definitely will put some time into looking into how Joyce fares now that he's on Capital Hill.  Could definitely be a feature down the road.  How'd LaTourette maintain such popularity though, any ideas?  

        Best of luck with redistricting reform though!


        by RVKU on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:52:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  LaTourette was a moderate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and the district is, I believe, R+4, so slightly Republican-leaning.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:40:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not a moderate (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            he's like Lugar, only moderate relative to his caucus.

            20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
            Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

            by jncca on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:13:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of LaTourette's popularity (5+ / 0-)

          was based on the residual glow of his having prosecuted the Kirtland murders in the late 80s, when HE was a county prosecutor.

          I don't know why this is still such a big deal but people in the district say it is.

          Also, LaTourette cultivated a fake reputation as a "moderate." He was definitely not a teabagger and has given Tea Party insanity as his reason for suddenly deciding to retire (People have been predicting his retirement since 2004 when he dumped his wife and kids for a young lobbyist and essentially moved out of Ohio to D.C., but it's been predicted so long and he announced it so late in the cycle that it was pretty much a surprise).

          LaTourette was friendly with the unions in his district, which defused a main base of Democratic support, and he was very vocal about bringing back money to the district. One of the jokes here was that if you wanted to find LaTourette (especially in recent years when he was never in the district), just have a ceremony where you present one of those oversized checks. LaTourette liked to pose with those.

          Here's a LaTourette story. In early 2006, when President Bush's popularity had tanked following Katrina and the American public turning agains the Iraq war, he came to Cleveland to speak at the City Club. All of Ohio's Republican officeholders and candidates running that year could not put enough distance between him and themselves. The Democratic mayor of Cleveland was the only politician on hand to greet him. LaTourette's excuse was that he had a staff retreat in D.C.

          At the very moment the City Club event was going on, a fax came over to our office (I worked for an alternative newsweekly) from LaTourette's office, announcing his return to Northeast Ohio the very next day to hold a press conference with DENNIS KUCINICH to announce something about some funding for Northeast Ohio that they were working on together.

          That was when I knew how far in the toilet Bush's popularity had gone when a Republican congressman felt it was less of a political liability to appear publicly with Kucinich than with Bush. But this was also typical of LaTourette and an indication that even then, this district wasn't designed to support extremist teabagger politics.

          It's probably a tad less so now. It's winnable. I believe we would have won this year had we had ANY of the last three candidates to take on LaTourette, one of whom finally won a state supreme court seat in November, on his third try (He also ran against LaTourette twice, demonstrating why the people here who claim that a defeated candidate should never run again are wrong).

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:49:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Based on what you're saying (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RandomNonviolence, slothlax

            He was indeed genuinely moderate for a House Republican, considering what immoderate House Republicans are like. So it wasn't a fake reputation, just one built on a combination of grandstanding and things that actually strongly deviate from what passes for conservative orthodoxy today, including friendliness with unions.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:10:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  me too (5+ / 0-)

      it's really the most important issue for dkos.

      given the site's philosophy of effecting change by electing (better) Democrats and developing a stronger, more consistent D party.

      thanks for writing this piece!

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:27:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  She gives DNA a bad name. n/t (7+ / 0-)

    Poverty and Income Inequality isn't Democratic, Justice or American. It is Tyranny.

    by Wendys Wink on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:08:25 PM PST

  •  Remember 1998 (20+ / 0-)

    There was no sixth-year bloodbath then because it had already happened at the two-year mark, and the Republicans had shot themselves in the foot repeatedly in the interim by reminding everyone again and again how extreme they were. And the current crop is even more extreme. For that reason, I think we could be looking at breaking even at least in 2014. And yes, Bachmann is among the lowest-hanging fruit.

    Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

    by RamblinDave on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:20:36 PM PST

  •  I hope you'll be doing WV-01 & WV-02 (11+ / 0-)

    David McKinley IS vulnerable if the DCCC backs a worthwhile and viable candidate.

    Shelley Moore Capito has already announced that she will be seeking Senator Rockefeller's seat in 2014. So, WV-02 will be open.

  •  Excellent series ! (13+ / 0-)

    Yes, Bachmann needs to go.

    May I recommend Virgina Fox for a future addition ?

                               Just a thought,

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:34:56 PM PST

  •  gerrymandered (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, nomandates, elwior

    no gerrymandering in minny?

    In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted." Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

    by lippythelion69 on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:46:31 PM PST

    •  Redistricting in Minnesota is done (8+ / 0-)

      by the courts.

      •  Well, accident (7+ / 0-)

        Starting with the 1970 Census there has never been agreement between the MN lege (one or both Houses) and/or the governor's office on whose map to use when re-districting.
              Therefore by default the whole thing ends up in the courts, who do the line-drawing in a very minimalist way.
               It works against gerrymandering, which is a good thing, but it is by accident, not by design.

        As far as unseating Bachmann in MN-06, yes, we need to keep trying, if only to keep her pinned down.

        But I agree with Bill Prendergast, who has followed Bachmann's career since her days on a school board, through the MN lege and on to the national stage. Bill says she will be very tough to beat because of the massive fundagelical money machine behind her AND because of the existence of the Independence Party here in MN.
             The reasons Jim Graves made it as close as he did in 2012 were
             a) the Independence Party DID NOT RUN a candidate, allowing the anti-Bachmann vote to unite behind one candidate,
             b) Jim could self-fund (and did to a good extent, but he also raised some good money, just not in the $15mill. range like MB did---like no other House candidate did or ever has done in US history) and
             c) while redistricting added +1 to the R coloring of the MN-06, the parts added (Chaska/Chanhassen, parts of Eden Prairie, exurban Minnetonka) are old-line Republican: wealthy, country-club types who were/are APPALLED at the idea of being in Bachmann's district but loath to pull the lever for a Democrat. Graves worked these areas hard and it almost paid off.

        Actually, if the goal is to flip seats to the Democratic Party column, the MN -02 (2nd ring and ex-urb southern suburbs of the Twin cities) offers good possibilities. John Kline is the R incumbent and far more conservative than the general make-up of his constituents. But he is usually fairly well-funded, does good constituent service (certainly compared to Bachmann) and draws badly underfunded nobodies as Democratic opponents.
               MN-02 moved from R+ 2 to EVEN after redistricting but no one has plowed this ground with decent money and an early start to make it a contest.

        Even MN-03 (second ring Western suburbs of Minneapolis) (Paulsen-R) is a better choice. Historically a swing district, long represented by Jim Ramstad (a moderate to even liberal R), Paulsen won the seat 4 years ago when Ramsted retired. The D candidates have been invisible and underfunded, which is a damn shame. Paulsen votes with Bachmann 94% of the time but no one has been able to point out to the district just how far to the loony right Paulsen is compared to the district as a whole.

        Jim Graves has so far demurred on making a run for anything in 2014. But he or someone like him who want to go to Congress as a Democrat from MN would have much better odds running in the 2nd or 3rd than trying to oust Bachmann.

        So, do you want one or even 2 more Democratic seats, or do you want to lose to Bachmann again? The Democratic dilemma in Minnesota.


        "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

        by WineRev on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:33:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Spot on as always (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, jncca, GoUBears

          However, I would quibble about Kline always facing weak candidates. I think Colleen Rowley was an intriguing candidate- Time Magazine "Person of the Year" in 2002 as FBI whistleblower who tried to prevent 9/11 attacks. However, she was easily beaten by Kline. It seems as long as he keeps his head down, the seat is his for as long as he wants.

          I think MN House seats are pretty well set for now. We gained back MN-8 for DFL with Nolan. As long as Walz and Peterson stay in MN-1 and MN-7, then we should keep a 5-3 advantage in the US House. While we would all like to get rid of Bachmann, might be better to focus on more feasible goals.

          For 2014- keeping Franken in Senate will be a key priority. Last I saw, he will be favored. I am not sure if there will be a strong repub candidate, but could be a close battle.

          •  Franken's opponents (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, elwior

            at the moment seem scarce.
            Norm Coleman (Mr. Absent from the State Since He Lost) has made no sound about a re-match.
            Tim Pawlenty (Mr. Never above 46% statewide) likewise has been silent.

            Michelle Bachmann is the only other real GOPer with statewide name recognition and her message does NOT play well outside of her nature preserve of the MN-06.

            And just to emphasize things, Erick Paulsen of the MN-03 made a pointed statement this week he has no interest in challenging Franken either.

            So for the moment the GOP would need to recruit a well-financed no-name, while Franken's approval ratings have slowly but steadily risen from his 42% winning figure in 2008 to a recent 52-53%. Hardly stellar (see Klobuchar, Amy) but above the crucial 50% mark (and his DISapprovals have slowly sunk into the mid-30s) and certainly strong enough to make him a morning-line favorite for re-election.


            "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

            by WineRev on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:30:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've been happily surprised by Franken (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The fact that he is just another Senator and not a showboater makes me like him a lot more.  I could see the whole comedian goes to Washington thing turning out really badly.

              There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

              by slothlax on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:39:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Who are the Independents... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Lujane, Matt Z, elwior

    Who also ran? Which party did they siphon votes from?

    •  It is the Independence Party (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els, MichaelNY, elwior

      of Minnesota. Their one great electoral triumph was electing Jesse Ventura governor in 1998 in a 3-way win.

      In Bachmann's district they have ALWAYS served to draw off moderate/centrist voters (which is where they typically are on the spectrum) and SPLIT the anit-Michelle vote.

      A big reason Graves missed by only 4200 votes in November is because the IP announced in the spring they were NOT RUNNING a candidate, allowing the anti-Bachmann vote to all gather under Graves' banner.


      (In 2008, Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley drew 15% of the vote in the Coleman-Franken Senate race and left the both of them at 42% for weeks leading up to the vote....which of course Franken won GOING AWAY by 312 seen on these boards at Daily Kos.  :-)


      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:39:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you want to know why Bachmann wins (13+ / 0-)

    read DK Diarist

    Bill Prendergast

    He has written over 300 diaries covering Michelle.

    Every election he details the local puff pieces written by the Twin Cities newspapers.

    "Michelle was seen greeting constituents in the local bakery. She is pictured hugging an elderly lady while holding an eclair in one hand."

  •  I'll tell you what's amazing (12+ / 0-)

    She spent more money per vote than any other Congressional candidate in the country.  And she really outpaced her competition too.  I was thinking about it's even more incredible when you consider the media market she's in.  #3 on the list was Bill Bloomfield who was running broadcast ads in Los Angeles, the most expensive media market in the country.  That can account for his huge expense per individual vote.  Allen West at #2 had the South Florida media market which is fairly expensive.  But Michelle Bachmann?  She's in rural Minnesota.  What could be THAT expensive?  It's really quite amazing.  

    Check out my new blog:

    by SoCalLiberal on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 08:39:09 PM PST

  •  We're paying for her waste (9+ / 0-)

    This past week, she once again brought up a bill to repeal Obamacare. It must be for the attention or insanity, because the same bill has been shot down over 33 times.

    America voted in Barack Obama and ObamaCare/Heathcare Reform/Affordable Healthcare, whatever they're calling it now to calm the masses after the GOP and Fox News spend millions to misinform.

    The Supreme Court even confirmed it's constitutionality. So much money spent. What exactly is she doing other than getting her face in the press, causing much ado about nothing, and wasting the tax dollars we pay?

    "When faced with darkness, be the light."

    by Leslie Salzillo on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:16:59 PM PST

    •  Yet as far as I know, (6+ / 0-)

      she has not stood up and nobly rejected her congressional health care, which we subsidize.

      She should follow the lead of my senator, Sherrod Brown, who did this for many years in both the House and Senate, saying it was unfair of him to take it when his constituents didn't have access to the same quality of health care. I don't know if he still does, but he has been one of the strongest advocates for health-care reform. He's even said he would ideally prefer single payer.

      Obviously Bachmann is at the other end of the spectrum from him.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:46:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just because it's constitution (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Ladig, jncca, GoUBears

      doesn't mean it can't be repealed. What makes it impossible to repeal is Democratic control of the Senate and White House.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:32:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to know what it costs...frivolous bills (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, elwior

      being introduced.  There must be a way to put a range/guesstimate on the tax payer money that she's wasted.

      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

      by 417els on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:13:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Love The Idea Of A Diary Series Like This (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RVKU, MichaelNY, pixxer, northerntier, elwior

    Put together a list of the 27 Districts that the GOP won by less than 10%. Can't guarantee complete accuracy as I put it together a few weeks back from different sources and there could be data entry error.  It goes in order from narrowest margin to highest.  Bachmann is number 3. Most depressing thing in politics today is the thought that because of various factors, the GOP might hold the house until at least 2022. Always like the scene in Star Wars where C3PO is informing Hans Solo in the midst of battle about the odds of success. It is "don't tell me the odds" time.
    0.4    IL 13
    0.7    MI 1
    1.2    MN 6
    1.4    IN 2
    1.4    NY 27
    2.4    NE 2
    3.6    CO 6
    3.6    FL 10
    3.6    PA 12
    3.9    KY 6
    4.4    OH 16
    5    OH 14
    5.4    FL 2
    6.4    MI 11
    6.6    NY 11
    6.8    OH 6
    7    NY 19
    7    CA 10
    7.2    FL 16
    7.6    VA 2
    7.6    NV 3
    8.2    NC 8
    8.6    IA 4
    8.6    MI 3
    8.7    IA 3
    8.9    TX 14
    9    NJ 3

    •  In CO-06 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RVKU, MichaelNY, Leo Flinnwood, elwior

      Coffman's final margin was around 2 % according to the Colorado Secretary of State's website.

      If you listen to fools, the Mob Rules

      by CO Democrat on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:41:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh-14 should be at the top (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RVKU, MichaelNY, Leo Flinnwood, elwior

      Flukes are responsible for this year's results, and the flukes will not be repeatable by the GOP unless the local Democrats blow it.

      Oh-16 was close primarily because the Democrat was a high-profile incumbent (Betty Sutton) with a strong record of supporting (and writing) legislation that had a direct positive impact in this district, plus she is an excellent, tireless campaigner. I even heard someone suggest she should be recruited to take on Governor Kasich in 2014. On paper this district looked winnable. It is probably less so with a candidate other than Betty Sutton.

      Oh-06 might be a similar case — more winnable in theory than reality and close primarily because the Democrat had name recognition and was a former two-term incumbent (he won in 2006 and 2008), Blue Dog Charlie Wilson. I don't know the district well enough to know if they have other Democratic candidates there with winning potential, and with so many good, progressive Democrats running around the state this year (sadly all defeated because of the district tilts) I didn't pay much attention to this race. Oh-14 and Oh-16 both include large chunks of my own county, which was ripped into pieces by the Republicans in order to weaken the Democratic Party here.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:54:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What about the Districts that Dems (0+ / 0-)

      won by less than 10%?  The GOP is going to be hot an heavy after those.  Just defending is going to be a battle.  Dems also have to face the fact that a lot of Dems (especially in the Senate) survived because Obama was on the ballot (and Romney, which didn't hurt) and OFA was so effective at turning out Dem voters who stayed in the family on Congress.  

      Dems won't have that going for them in 2014.  In fact, Obama seems intent on personally demoralizing Dems and suppressing their turnout and enthusiasm.  At least it looks that way to me, and he hasn't even caved on entitlements yet.  

      •  You are starting off well (0+ / 0-)

        But I can't tip your remarks because you post stuff like this:

        Obama seems intent on personally demoralizing Dems and suppressing their turnout and enthusiasm.
        Yeah, I'm sure that's his intent. And I'm also sure I can sell the Brooklyn Bridge to you cheap.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:30:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leo Flinnwood, pixxer, elwior

    A few (i.e. most if not all) of the races are on my list and I can't wait to get into some of them.  I'm debating how often I should add a new feature.  Bachmann was the perfect person to start with though, the perfect amount of vulnerability and importance to oust.


    by RVKU on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:14:09 PM PST

  •  Fool's Gold (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AndersonDelValle, RVKU, GoUBears

    If Graves wants to run again, based on his track record, he deserves funding from the DCCC, but not from all of us. Bachmann is so extreme, she always underperforms in that district, but they just can't bring themselves to vote for a Democrat, and the district was made a couple of points more Republican in redistricting. If Graves runs again, the race starts at Likely R. There are many better targets, whose names you might not know, but who need more funding for the Democrats to have a chance to make a real dent in the House (flipping it in 2014 is a huge long-shot, but making good gains, if possible, would put the Democrats in a better situation to have a chance to flip the chamber in 2016).

    Have a look at this sub-thread for much more likely targets for the Democrats. And I'll add another: Keep the name Nate Shinagawa in mind if he chooses to run again in his Western New York district. He lost by a small margin without any DCCC funding. Sure, his opponent isn't as colorful as Bachmann, but he's a damn sight more likely to actually win than whoever opposes her.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:01:32 AM PST

  •  Unfortunately, this is probably misdirected (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It might not be worth our effort to go after the House now.

    Per Nate Silver:

    The Electoral College now seems to disadvantage [Repubs] at least slightly, and if they struggle in the 2014 and 2016 elections, a better case can be made that the party is underachieving.

    But because of the way districts are configured, their position in the House should be quite robust: it would require a Democratic wave year, and not a merely decent election for Democrats, as in 2012, for Republicans to lose control of the House.

    Per Think Progress re Thanks To Gerrymandering, Democrats Would Need To Win The Popular Vote By Over 7 Percent To Take Back The House:
    The upshot of this is that if Democrats across the country had performed six percentage points better than they actually did last November, they still would have barely missed capturing a majority in the House of Representatives. In order to take control of the House, Democrats would have needed to win the 2012 election by 7.25 percentage points. That’s significantly more than the Republican margin of victory in the 2010 GOP wave election (6.6 percent), and only slightly less than the margin of victory in the 2006 Democratic wave election (7.9 percent). If Democrats had won in 2012 by the same commanding 7.9 percent margin they achieved in 2006, they would still only have a bare 220-215 seat majority in the incoming House, assuming that these additional votes were distributed evenly throughout the country. That’s how powerful the GOP’s gerrymandered maps are; Democrats can win a Congressional election by nearly 8 points and still barely capture the House.
    Rather than going after the House and lone loons, our efforts might be better spent laying the state-level groundwork to retake redistricting -- or at least stymie R's in their efforts in 2020.


    ambiguity is okay ... if you know what I mean

    by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:47:15 AM PST

    •  Well, there's this … (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, elwior

      If we focus on this one issue:

      The "debt limit" is nonsense.

      It's a fiction pushed by Repubs and their self-interested benefactors (Peterson, Kochs, and Walton), Wall St., sycophants and other deluded (Norquist, Limbaugh, …) to fool the rest of us (yes, all of the non-rich Repubs too) into making government disappear so they can be the only power (along with a defense and gun industry they profit from) in an otherwise anarchic state.

      Or some shorter version, convincing enough to show everyone -- most importantly even the little R's -- that the BIG R's eat everybody else's young.

      I'll provide more to explain why the debt limit is nonsense if anyone asks.

      ambiguity is okay ... if you know what I mean

      by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:12:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You need sound bites (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dorkenergy, RVKU, jncca

        I don't believe you'll be able to make that into a sound bite. Moreover, voters will be bored stiff about this kind of budgetary wonkery.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:27:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly. We need sound bites. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I've been trying to make that point in discussions elsewhere.

          Because I do think it's possible.

          The R's have done it. Again and Again. On financial matters.  Often with the unwitting help of Dems and Progressives. "Debt ceiling" "Fiscal cliff" "Share the pain" …

          Will explain more some other time -- gotta sleep now, but here's a fuller version I put together for context on this theme:

          The "deficit" is a Republican fiction (Cheney acknowledged this). 

          The fact that O, DEMS, and PROGRESSIVES have all accepted the Repub's/Tea Party's, … "we need to cut the deficit" line is sick.

          It's not a deficit. And it doesn't need to be fixed. It's government's net contribution to society.

          We actually need our government -- which is a social construct of our own making -- to make MORE of a contribution.

          We've all been fooled by >3 decades of bad economics instruction. 

          WE NEED A BIGGER "deficit" (aka "government contribution).

          "It's the economy, stupid" should be updated in view of the R evil insanity to

          "It's balancing the economy -- not balancing the budget -- stupid".

          Catch you sometime over the next several days.

          ambiguity is okay ... if you know what I mean

          by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:41:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No-one will understand this (0+ / 0-)
            "It's balancing the economy -- not balancing the budget -- stupid".
            So it's not a useful sound bite. And it's also too long.

            I don't disagree with you that the Democrats' ineffectiveness in explaining Keynesian economics is harmful, but really, you're looking at a very Republican district and thinking you can beat Bachmann on the budget? The folks in that district are very conservative! The only way to defeat Bachmann is on the basis that she's an extremist and her opponent is a totally reasonable person. Anything else is a failure.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:34:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't say I had the final product. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Admittedly far from it.

              It took the R's decades, $, institutes, and organization (Hoover, Cato, …) to refine their message.

              This needs work.

              BTW, it's Modern Monetary Reality (aka Modern Monetary Theory or Chartalism). Keynes drew from it, but the thesis goes beyond that. Many of the current researchers in this area are at UM-KC.

              The researchers themselves recognize the difficulty (they have been refining the technical work for over a decade) and have been struggling with how to re-frame.

              If you're not familiar with it, see, e.g., New Economic Perspectives. Rodger Mitchell has several helpful takes.

              Joe Firestone reposts his NEP pieces on Dkos as Letsgetitdone.

              Also, I wasn't talking about a particular district.

              Again, I don't have the answers. But this is potentially a much more productive avenue than the 2014 House. And if we can help with the reframing quickly enough, it would of course help there too.

              But there are actually more immediate concerns --  progressives don't understand and neither does Obama. The former should understand because it enables their ends and Obama asked us to give him guidance as needed. I'll leave it at that for now.

              ambiguity is okay ... if you know what I mean

              by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:58:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK, I get your point (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                But these things are not mutually exclusive. The DCCC is not going to start funding think tanks. They fund Democratic House campaigns. They have to decide whom to concentrate on defending and which Republican-held seats to target. Their work is worthy and important work, and discussing it is part of the core mission of the Daily Kos Elections sub-site, which does not focus on framing except inasmuch as it's specifically and demonstrably relevant to how elections are won and lost.

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:04:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Agreed, same page and all that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  They have to decide whom to concentrate on defending and which Republican-held seats to target. Their work is worthy and important work
                  The DCCC is not going to start funding think tanks.
                  I wasn't thinking in terms of DCCC funding.

                  But Dems in general (as well as Progressives) should understand some economic reality -- and that we have been misled on everything macroeconomic -- from what money is to what government is -- by folks who see the rest of humanity as unwitting serfs.

                  If, two years from now, we're all holding hands on that (and picking up a few more House seats), that will be some accomplishment.

                  ambiguity is okay ... if you know what I mean

                  by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:40:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, dorkenergy, elwior

          Gerrymandering, debt ceiling, fiscal cliff are all important issues for us but the general populace either doesn't care or pretends to care while not following what's going on.

          The only thing I could think of is:

          "Construct Not Obstruct" in relation to jobs, but even that is kind of....corny.


          by RVKU on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:38:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the help. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            We do need to put it in terms they understand.

            Some of the efforts at NEP have focused on the difference between a government and a household -- see, in particular, Stephanie Kelton of UMKC. Here's a good interview she did with RT

            ((youtube Yiw8Lyw1XGc))

            (Click here if that embed didn't come through.)

            She covers the household-government difference in several places, one is in another interview (probably all worthwhile, but here's the part on this point):

            HARRY SHEARER:  We hear the United States government, especially during the election campaign, being compared to two different entities – to a household and to Greece. Might you explain why the U.S. economy does or doesn’t resemble a household in America and/or Greece?

            STEPHANIE KELTON:  Sure. I would be very happy to. If I could dispel and disabuse people of these two myths, we would have an entirely different national conversation.

            So, first the household debt analogy. This is a really powerful one. And the finances that most people are familiar with, of course, are their own personal finances. And so I think it resonates with them when they hear people make the argument that the federal government faces the same kinds of constraints that you and I face, that we have to tighten our belts when times get tough, and the federal government should do the same thing. And the person who really I think hammered this home so was Ross Perot with his little charts and his feisty little attitude, you know, telling the American people that we’re on the verge of bankruptcy in this nation and if he ran his business the way the government runs its operations, why, he’d be broke, and all this. So that’s where that really, really comes from. And today, you know, it’s the Peterson – Pete Peterson and his ilk that are pushing this.

            So ask yourself, what is the difference? Why is it that a household has to live within its means? Why is it that a household can only borrow so much before it runs into possibly a situation where a bill comes due and the household can’t pay? Why is it that businesses sometimes go bankrupt? Why is it that state governments or, you know, Orange County – why is it that some of these folks can actually go bankrupt?

            The fundamental difference between a household, a business, a state or a local government and the U.S. federal government is that the U.S. federal government is the issuer of the currency, and everybody else that I mentioned is merely the user of the currency. We all have to go out and get the dollar in order to spend the dollar. We either have to earn it, we have to borrow it, we make investments, we may have interest income – whatever, but we have to come up with the currency from some source.

            The U.S. government in contrast is the source of the currency, right? The U.S. dollar comes from the U.S. government. Congress has given itself a monopoly over the issuance of the U.S. dollar. If you and I try to do it, we go to jail. It’s called counterfeiting, right? But the U.S. government has the monopoly right to create the currency. And as the issuer of the currency, it can, as Alan Greenspan has said, as Ben Bernanke has said, it can never run out, it can never go broke, and it can never be forced to miss a payment.

            Also, see the posts by her and others at the New Economic Perspectives link I gave above.

            The more of us understanding and working on this, the better.

            ambiguity is okay ... if you know what I mean

            by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:30:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  You make a good point (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dorkenergy, RVKU, elwior, jncca

      It is indeed of vital importance to go after state legislatures and governor's seats. But first of all, waves are possible; secondly, demographic change is occurring in some districts that will make them somewhat more favorable to Democrats in each cycle (while others become less favorable); and there is quite a lot of value in a net gain of any size, even if it's insufficient to retake the House. Right now, Boehner already needs Democratic votes to pass any major tax and budget legislation that could pass the Senate, it appears. That will be even more true if his margins are shaved further.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:14:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the demogs are changing … (0+ / 0-)

        but it's a resources thing. And their billionaires are bigger and less scrupulous than ours. And they're persistent. (And we won't be able to count on Romney-like incompetence next time.)

        If it's going to be a big-enough wave, we have to reframe those overlords. Hence, my second post above.

        ambiguity is okay ... if you know what I mean

        by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:23:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Resources need to be husbanded (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But that just means picking campaigns wisely. Whatever issues the Democrats choose to focus on have to be pounded into voters' heads via advertising, direct mail, and email campaigns. That takes money; it's inescapable. And it should never be diffusely focused on absolutely unwinnable seats (Bachmann's seat is not absolutely unwinnable, just very doubtful, and if it's ever won, it would be for one term, after which a possibly equally right-wing but less kooky Republican would retake the seat).

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:29:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  can't give up before even trying (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, MichaelNY

      those things worth having are worth fighting for.

      Love Nate but he is not suggesting doing nothing juts reinforcing the challenge.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:46:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree -- it is worth fight for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As Michael and I appear to agree, it's a resources thing.

        To rephrase: my suggestion is that, given our collective wisdom and drive, more of our mental resources be devoted to this reframing and spreading that word(s).

        To the extent that our discussion and verve here prods the DCCC re which races to focus on, that's helpful. (But I imagine that the DCCC, including whoever here is involved there, has resources sufficient for that task.)

        The slant I'd suggest is that we have resources -- a lot of collective brainpower and drive -- that might be better applied -- in this case, to framing, messaging, … .

        One small way to do that is to sign this White House petition that focuses on one plausible mechanism in line with the new understanding of the economic reality. That will raise it in Obama's attention window -- in that it will at least require a White House response.

        The petition has picked up > 4000 signatures in a few days. Spread the word -- it needs 25000 by 2/2.

        ambiguity is okay ... if you know what I mean

        by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:00:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't underestimate the influence of DKE (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dorkenergy, RVKU

          There are quite a number of regulars on DKE who played various roles in political campaigns in 2012. Some are still active in organizations like Democrat Governors' Association. And it seems that some of the redistricting maps DKE members posted in diaries may have influenced maps submitted by Democratic or Republican officials in certain states. If I had to guess, I'd say that DKE has a much greater influence on actual campaigns than all the heated discussions on the main page, which I think officials involved with real-world campaigns would generally ignore.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:25:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I've seen that and thought about it . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northerntier, elwior, dorkenergy

      I think (gasp!) Nate Silver is incorrect in his thinking. Okay, put down the tar and feathers for a just a second a let me explain:

      Let's say you lose an election by that horrible 7 points, 53-46 (it's only 99% of the vote because of wackadoo Libertarian candidates, write-ins or other standard-issue messiness of democracy). Out of every 100 votes, your candidate won 46 of them and your opponent won 53 of them. Pretty bad loss, there.

      Or is it?

      How many votes need to flip for our candidate to win? One in twelve. I'll say that again: If one vote for the winning candidate was changed for every 12 votes that candidate got, the election would have gone the other way.

      My thinking is that since voters have just one vote each, and that goes 100% for one candidate, if you move the sentiments of just one voter in every 12, your candidate wins. Yes, I'm aware that 1/12 equals slightly more than 8%, but this is a case where raw numbers can be looked at in different ways, yielding a very different outcome. Remember, we're talking about flipping 1/12 of 53% of the vote. Four votes out of every 100 votes is still daunting, but nowhere near as daunting as achieving an additional 7%.

      If you're still feeling hopeless, I'll take the tar and feathers now, but I'm willing to get to work to win another four votes for our side. The Republicans are doing their level best to piss away every advantage they have. No sense letting their efforts go to waste.

    •  it's hard, but I question the usefulness of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, MichaelNY

      the methodology.  They got 7% points by looking at 2012 results and shifting each district.  But House watchers know that candidates and campaigns matter, and that a district like mine (VA-10) where a well liked incumbant R faced off with a virtually invisible D would be a different race with funding for the challenger and/or a retirement because its only a low R+ district.  So if you are targeting right you can get a much larger increase in a single district than 7%.  Yes, taking the House is a bit of an inside straight draw, but it could happen.  Additionally, each seat we win is another vote taken out of the R's cushion, making it harder to pass a law without needing some D's, increasing leverage.

      Also, in many areas House races are the headliners of the ballot in an off-year (no gov race or uncompetitive, no senate race or a foregone conclusion).  Getting out the vote in the house will get out more straight ticket for the state house voters.  It is not an either/or and the House race is a key mobilizing focal point.  In turn, winning state house races improves our recruiting, and maybe we won't need to wait for redistricting and suffer ten more years of a Republican House.

      •  As you say, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taking the House is a bit of an inside straight draw, but it could happen.
        From Nate's article:
        the number of swing districts has been on a steady decline since at least 1992, and the number of landslide districts on a steady rise.
        But redistricting alone did not account for the whole of the shift; instead, polarization has increased even after accounting for the change in boundaries.
        To me, that says, we need to target folks beyond the base and normally persuadables.

        Fortunately, the reframing I'm suggesting applies across the board -- from Progressives thru Dems thru Obama (wherever you put him) thru Repubs with 2 unclogged ears and something in between.

        The introductory messages might be a bit different -- so far, in talking with Progressive friends with backgrounds in economics and law, I'm finding it varies person-to-person -- but, get through it does.


        Getting out the vote in the house will get out more straight ticket for the state house voters.  It is not an either/or and the House race is a key mobilizing focal point. In turn, winning state house races improves our recruiting …
        To the extent the off-year house and state races bootstrap, great. And laying the groundwork for the 2020 redistricting component is the longer game. My point was that getting out the vote in the House requires a national reframing.

        ambiguity is okay ... if you know what I mean

        by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:24:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why not do both? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:59:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm reccing and tipping you (6+ / 0-)

    to recognize your effort, and in hope that I like the rest of the series better - even though I believe that campaigning against Bachmann should be deemphasized, not further emphasized, for strategic reasons (primarily that she has a very low chance of losing).

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:26:11 AM PST

    •  Appreciate it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, elwior

      I mostly went with Bachmann because she was a "bigger name" to start off the series who still had some vulnerability though the race is a bigger tease than toss-up.  

      I have the Coffman race due up next as well as other real pick-up opportunities in D-friendly zones that aren't rural Minnesota.  It's not "hopeless" of course to make sure that Bachmann loses but the district shouldn't get much too focus from grassroots or the DCCC even.  Much more important races that are more winnable, with none-entrenched incumbents, exist.


      by RVKU on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:00:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Graves (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RVKU, elwior

    FWIW, Sen. Joe Biden's interview with Sen. Barack Obama for the VP slot in 2008 took place at the Graves Hotel in Minneapolis.

    (Warning: Music at the link.)

  •  NY/NJ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    12 republican House seats between them.

    why would anyone in NY/NJ ever vote for a republican again given what the republican party did to them.

    maybe all 12 can't be had but seems like a huge window of opportunity.

    midterms are less than 2 years out and hurricane sandy impact will be felt for a long time.

    mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

    by wewantthetruth on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:48:07 AM PST

    •  But their Republican Representatives (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RVKU, elwior, jncca

      have fought hard for funding after the storm, and that's what they'll win reelection on. Count on it.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:36:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, elwior

        Exactly that.  Unless one of the Reps. flips off Sandy victims, I would assume all of the NJ/NY delegation (i.e. affected by storm) is safe barring retirements.  

        Our area of NJ is near Camden, so we are quite inland but we had some minor damage.  Yet I saw Runyan on my news and with Lautenberg touring the damage.  Or at least he was photographed behind him.

        These guys know how important the funding is for relief.  


        by RVKU on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:50:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Andy Harris (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RVKU, elwior

          He's an exception. He voted against relief, despite the fact that his constituents were affected by the storm. That district is too packed with Republicans for a Democrat to have much of a chance to win, but I wonder if Harris might get strong primary opposition.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:05:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  We need to win by 7 points to take back the House (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks to Gerrymandering, we need to win the popular vote in 2014 by 7 points to take back the House - this year we won the popular vote, but lost the House. We need to take the gerrymandering debate public - it is disgraceful that we are one of the few western democracies where this is not a non-partisan process.

    •  Nobody cares about gerrymandering (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RVKU, Alibguy

      Sure, we do, but voters don't. That's been shown again and again in opinion polls and election results. Whining about it - however just, and it is certainly accurate - won't gain a single seat at any level.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:35:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is why we lose - If Republicans lost Congress (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        because of Gerrymandering - their echo chamber would be non-stop: Fox News would run 24 / 7, Conserve Radio would follow suit, Republicans would be on every cable news network and every Sunday show, and then they would demand to shut down the government until the process was made fair. Remember their outrage over "pork" or how every one of their politicians fight for recounts as if it were the end of the world? ... This is why we lose - a defeatist attitude and the inability to produce faux outrage based on injustice. We just accept the status quot.

        •  Yes, gerrymandering is why we lose (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jncca, GoUBears

          I'm not being "defeatist"; I'm being reality-based. No-one on either side of the aisle has ever won anything due to complaining about gerrymandering. It's inside baseball, and only political activists give a damn about it. If you think I'm wrong, give me one example of any official at any time in the history of the US who did win while making whining about gerrymandering the centerpiece of their campaign.

          The way to fight against Republican gerrymandering is to make sure Democrats have control of governorships and state legislatures in 2020 and push referenda for non-partisan redistricting such as happened in California in states where voter initiatives are possible. Otherwise, aside from some litigation in states like Texas, the districts are set, period, and elections will have to be won in spite of long odds due to gerrymandering.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:53:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! If we stopped running elves from (0+ / 0-)

    Middle Earth, perhaps we would unseat her.

    Elwyn Tinklenberg (D)

    Taryl Clark (D)

    I kid, I'm sure they were fine people. And always great to see candidate/election diaries here, specifically focused on the House!

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:31:41 AM PST

  •  Being from Vermont (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RVKU, elwior

    There is little I can hope for in improving our congressional delegation in 2014. Two of our three are progressive caucus members.

    I do believe 2014 is an excellent opportunity for Democrats. Americans have right wing crazy fatigue and it looks like more hostage taking is imminent.

    I am also interested in hearing about plans for a progressive Dem candidate for President in 2016. There is a real opportunity for Democrats to be entrenched in the executive and legislative branch for many years to come. Now if something can be done about the SCOTUS.

    -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

    by Blueslide on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:36:24 AM PST

  •  We need to work continuously (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, northerntier, RVKU, elwior

    at both the state and local level to end this Republican perversion of the constitutional system, in which the minority--misled by an even smaller minority of corporations and billionairies--rules.

  •  Paul Gosar 4th District AZ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rather than face Ann Kirkpatrick (D) in the 1st District, Gosar moved to Prescott to compete in the newly organized 4th District.  Kirkpatrick won in Nov., and so did Gosar, a tea-partying, anti everything pos.

    Gosar is misidentified as "one of the saner" rethugs in AZ.  It's just not true, and is an insult to his lunacy.  He's going to continue to do nothing other than obstruct.  We MUST do everything in our power to return Gosar to his mediocre practice of dentistry in the northern reaches of the state.  

    •  What's the PVI of that district? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm guessing it's too high for him to be a realistic target.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:58:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know. (0+ / 0-)

        But Gosar could be a very realistic target because he's not going to do a damn thing to promote business in this district, and the recovery in AZ is extremely uneven.  And he advocates for coal in a state where solar is key.

        Seriously, he had to run from the 1st District because his first term in Congress was such a FAIL.  Now he's starting off the same way in the 4th District.

        •  No, that doesn't make him a realistic target (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jncca, GoUBears

          for a Democrat. Some district are so heavily Republican that only a primary opponent has a real chance of defeating them. A web search didn't turn up a current PVI, but did turn up a predicted PVI of R+16, so please, forget about this district!!!

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:28:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not inclined to "forget about any district." (0+ / 0-)

            If we'd taken that defeatist approach, Barack Obama would never have been elected in 2008.  

            •  Nonsense (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jncca, BENAWU, GoUBears

              Barack Obama didn't campaign in Wyoming. That's directly analogous to what you're calling for. Money doesn't grow on trees, and wasting it in hopeless pipedreams is unwise.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:54:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nonsense? Well, I guess you're the expert. (0+ / 0-)

                Too bad TX republicans didn't share your view in the Sam Rayburn & LBJ era.

                •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  You mean when Barry Goldwater lost a huge landslide? What are you talking about? Please explain. I'm trying to focus on realistic strategy here. If you have data to bring to the table, please do.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:11:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Hey, sorry for being rude (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bluemeanies, David Jarman, jncca, GoUBears

                  I'm overly impatient with a scattershot approach. But let's focus on practicalities. It's increasingly impossible for Democrats to win in extremely Republican districts. There may still be a few exceptions, such as in West Virginia, and wherever there are locally still pretty Democratic areas, despite lopsidedly Republican presidential results, or extremely popular and gifted Democratic candidates in open seats, or Republicans who might possibly be vulnerable to defeat as a result of scandals or extremism that has made them extremely unpopular locally, such opportunities should be pursued. That's what I think Governor Dean's 50-state approach consisted of. But wasting effort and money in completely hopeless situations is just extremely counterproductive. How many more districts might Democrats have won in in 2012 if less money had gone where it wasn't needed, such as to the campaign committee of multi-millionaire Alan Grayson or - yes - the opponent of Michelle Bachmann, who had a chance, but not nearly as much of one as Nate Shinagawa - and if you're saying "Who?!", I've made my point.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:30:56 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I contributed to races outside of AZ in 2012 (0+ / 0-)

                    simply because I felt candidates like Elizabeth Warren had a better shot than, for example, Richard Carmona, and I had a very limited budget.  However, I think completely writing off a district like AZ's 4th is a mistake, particularly if the decision to abandon the fight is made by a group of people who don't even live here.  Progressives in AZ work our asses off for liberal causes, yet we're repeatedly made to feel as though we're not worth the effort.  I was not, nor would I ever suggest "wasting money" on poor candidates.  We've done enough of that in recent years.

                    •  I live in New York (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      and I contributed to Richard Carmona and not Elizabeth Warren. That's how we're different. Warren had so much money, she didn't need any more. Carmona, fighting in a state that leans Republican, needed more money to have a fighting chance. He lost in the end, but not by a wide margin, and perhaps he might decide to run for Governor. If he does, I hope you'll support him, should he make it to the general election. By the way, I also sent money to Heidi Heitkamp, who won.

                      I would suggest to you that deciding not to send money to Carmona's campaign is inconsistent with working your ass off to try to defeat a Representative of a ~R+16 district. There are plenty of other things a liberal can do in any state, including yours, that are more likely to be fruitful, and I don't think the fact that I don't live in your state somehow stunts my reasoning power. You have neither unlimited money nor unlimited time. It makes lots of sense to invest both wisely, and not in hopeless causes.

                      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                      by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 02:03:44 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I voted for Carmona, who is a multi millionaire. (0+ / 0-)

                        I reserve the right to form my own opinions of candidates, and to support whomever I please. And I apologize to you, as I'm overly sensitive to people who come off as dismissive, and who who use terms like "Nonsense" to denigrate the opinions of others.  Take that to a conservative blog--it probably sells better.  

                        •  You were posting something that was demonstrably (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          untrue. Calling it "nonsense" was a little harsh, but it does not help the discussion when people equate writing off R+16 House seats with Obama not being able to win. Obama won no R+16 states in either 2008 or 2012.

                          As a social democrat, I don't think I'll take your recommendation that I should post on a conservative blog. Have a great afternoon.

                          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                          by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 02:42:16 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

  •  I appreciate your enthusiasm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, BENAWU, GoUBears

    But this district is just a bridge too far. It's the most Republican district in the state, and if we did unseat her, its be a 2-year rental. It's not worth using the amount of resources that have been allocated to it. Besides, she has the added benefit of being by FAR the biggest fundraiser for the DFL, and she is a human caricature of Republicanism, which scares moderates into the DFL fold.

  •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I love seeing election diaries for 2014!

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam, help the hungry.

    by randallt on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:15:35 AM PST

  •  Unseating Rethugs in Congress through elections... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    gives new meaning to "Burning Down The House".

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:16:51 AM PST

  •  GREAT idea for a series (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northerntier, Alibguy

    Taking back the House should be a top priority for us, and you've started with a key poster child. Those who elect someone whose entire focus is in repealing any forward movement and depriving their constituents of benefits are getting taxation without representation.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:33:49 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this. Great idea for a series. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RVKU, MichaelNY

    Never too early, etc. and gives us some idea of who/where to focus on. We have to make a real effort to retake the House, Nate Silver notwithstanding. So far, the R faction seems to be continuing their deathgrip on the legislative process. Not sure re how often you should post - maybe start with 1-2 times a week then more often as elections approach. Don't want to burn out too soon. Then again, post whenever you want. It's a real plus for the site.  Thanks again.

  •  We are at an encouraging place, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, northerntier, RVKU

    electorally, but a tentative one. Definitely, we need more attention on midterm elections, and on state-houses, going forward.

    I will be one of the most eager readers of this new feature.

    Tipped and rec'd. Thank you.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:14:57 AM PST

  •  We must amplify the message that the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, RVKU

    partisan gridlock is due largely to House Republicans. The low approval ratings for Congress show that most people recognize that while the Executive Branch is trying to do its job, the Legislative Branch ain't cuttin' it. However, we need to hone voters' outrage further, to Republicans in general and House Republicans in particular.

    Low-information voters are just now learning about the filibuster and may think that gridlock is a problem only with the Senate. We must do a better job at laying the responsibility for partisan gridlock squarely at the feet of House Republicans.

    Americans really need a basic civics lesson in how their government is designed to work (sigh)...

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:43:38 AM PST

    •  The key point is to focus on individual Reps (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1BQ, GoUBears

      Voters may dislike Congress and the Republican caucus but vote to reelect their Republican Representative, anyway.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:51:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Low-Info Voters are kind of the problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, 1BQ

      There's just so many of them.  Even I forget that most of my friends, teammates, co-workers have no idea what the filibuster is or the debt ceiling.  Look at all the photos that get shared on Facebook that are grossly inaccurate.  That's the wind we are going up against.

      The best things to do is let the GOP implode (well hope for it), get either big recruits/well-funded ones, drive up the GOTV efforts and focus on races that are local (i.e. State Senate).  

      The best we can do on the internet is drive awareness up of some of the lesser-name candidates (Shinagawa is a perfect example, as referenced by MichaelNY) and using the internet create some type of messaging.  Simple hashtags, retweets, liking pages help in some regard but the ground game is how it's won.  


      by RVKU on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:55:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "largely"? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Not "largely".  If they were sane, trhis wouldn't be an issue.

  •  If DKos became mostly about 2014 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RVKU, MichaelNY, decembersue, Alibguy

    and taking back the House, that would be wonderful.

    Thanks for the diary, and the initiative. I hope it takes root. It seemed to me there was surprisingly little focus on Congressional races here in the run-up to 2012 elections.

    Minor editing quibble:

    Remember if Bachmann is out of politics, it would be a huge blow to the Tea Party and our sanity.
    Bachmann is the huge blow to our sanity, no? Getting her out of politics would be "help regain sanity" or similar.

    Geez, she really is insane, isn't she. You'd think she wouldn't stand a chance of being elected head of a Church Bake Sale. Who exactly funds her?

    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:58:30 AM PST

  •  To Beat Her We Need To: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Raise more $ to level at least somewhat the playing field and we must have a good candidate.  She can raise a lot of dough and she is so skilled at outragous speech that she garners alot of free media.  She needs to be confronted in debate by a skilled person to show her up for what she is: an opportunistic, nasty, government hating, bigot and it goes down from there.  She can be beat given the numbers.  I hope this post contiues so we have some sense of direction for future contests like this presentation.  

  •  Graves deserves another chance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I, like many, counted out his odds in 2012 based on the constant disappointments. Yet he came closer than ever despite a huge spending disadvantage.

  •  whatever it takes, (0+ / 0-)

    my husband and I will help in 2014 to get us rid of this woman once and for all.  We will fly to Minnesota, give more money than we can afford, make calls from home -- just please help us never have to listen to this woman again!

    The GOP -- Hating Women, Gays and People of Color since 1854

    by Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:20:18 PM PST

  •  One problem with Bachmann (0+ / 0-)

    Is that even if Graves wins, he’d be hard-pressed to hold the district against a non-Bachmann Republican, who would almost certainly be less toxic than she is.

    That said, getting her out of Congress would be a nice thing in and of itself. As for other districts to check out, KS-03 & KS-02, while tough, are winnable (and more importantly, hold-able) for the right Democrat(s). KS-03 was home to Dennis Moore, who retired and was replaced by a Republican who was supposed to be a moderate, but totally isn’t (Kevin Yoder). KS-02 (former home of Nancy Boyda) has Lynn Jenkins, who is starting to identify herself with the Republican congressional leadership, which is going to make her increasingly toxic. It also was made a couple points bluer in redistricting.

    Kansan by birth, Californian by choice and Gay by the Grace of God.

    by arealmc on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:29:56 PM PST

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