Nancy Should be Speaker

I don’t consider myself a Nancy Pelosi loyalist- I think she was an outstanding Speaker, but it’s been eight years. With that backdrop, it would be easy to say House Democrats should move on from Nancy Pelosi. She’s deeply unpopular in polls, and winning a majority of House members is supposed to help prevent someone like that from being Speaker. She knew Tim Ryan and Seth Moulton opposed her as Leader, and did nothing about it. She’s been in leadership for 18 years, and her party has won just 3 of the 10 elections in that time. She hardly represents the kind of median district necessary to win majorities. There are plenty of compelling, at the very least, arguments for Democrats to make a change, and I say that as someone opposed to a “generational” change.

With all of that said, Nancy Pelosi is the person Democrats should choose to lead us for 2019-2020 in the House. She is simply the best prepared, most capable leader we have. She is best prepared to lead through divided government, as she has before. She is best prepared to face down an out-of-control President in negotiations. She is best prepared to tame the unruly and insane few that were swept in on a Democratic Wave, and want to do things we can’t do. She’s the best vote counter in Washington. She’s the best fundraiser in the party. She’s the best prepared to represent the new wave of women in the House who represent what 2018 was about. These are not times to have someone new learn on the job. No one has credibly stepped forward to take her on (most notably Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn, the only other two people I see as ready).

I don’t believe anyone “deserves” something in politics. I’m not for Nancy Pelosi as “Speaker for Life.” I could back someone like Adam Schiff in the future to lead the House. This isn’t about ideology or emotion to me. This is a rational choice of who will do the best job as Speaker. That person is Nancy Pelosi, and Democrats should hand her the gavel for one more term.

Goodbye, My Sweet North Carolina

I’m out today. I’m heading up to DC, then off to Philadelphia, home, New York, State College, home, and back to DC in a short period of time. Only the DC stops are in any way related to business, and my future is not set in stone yet. I would like to do 2020. Beyond that, I’m open.

The 2018 Election was good to me. We swept all five state legislative elections in Mecklenburg County that we targeted to pick up, so North Carolina was good to me. North Carolina was good to Democrats in general, as we narrowed the House from 75-45 to 64-56 (pending recounts), the Senate narrowed from 35-15 to 29-21 (pending recounts), and the state elected a Democrat to the Supreme Court. To top it off, I lead a victory back up in Wilkes-Barre, PA for a state house seat. I haven’t lost a race to a Republican since 2016 (so maybe I’m not bad?). It was an amazing year.

There was great vindication to coming back here and winning after 2016, and to just winning period after the primaries earlier this year. I was so disappointed after 2016. My feelings are so different after this time. This was a really great experience. This was a really great cycle.

Thanks for reading.

Goodbye, 2018

It’s all over. The election is over. With a little over a week’s time now gone by, it’s fair to make some assumptions about 2020, and re-write some assumptions about 2018.

  • Winners from Tuesday- Amy Klobuchar and Sherrod Brown jump out to me. Based on what the battleground looks like, these are the only two contenders who saw their chances significantly upgrade. Small ups for Eric Garcetti and Kamala Harris with the West in such play.
  • No Longer Swing-States- Let’s throw Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado in the “Blue” column. Texas and Georgia ain’t really swing yet. Ohio, Florida, and Iowa delivered mixed signals, but shouldn’t be centerpieces in the Democratic strategy right now.
  • The Berniecrats weren’t players- Show me a swing seat they won. Show me a narrow seat he campaigned in?
  • Lefty Heroes didn’t do the heavy lifting- Beto, Gillum, and Abrams all appear, at the moment, to have come up short. This was an establishment wave. That doesn’t say it wasn’t diverse, liberal, exciting, or anything else, but it was establishment campaign models that won. If you couldn’t win in 2018, you just can’t win. You won if you ran a traditional campaign.
  • The Senate Democrats… won?- Hear me out. They probably lost one to two seats this cycle. Losing is bad. Democrats were defending ten Trump-state seats. If all they lost this cycle is two, call it a win. Especially with two better cycles ahead.
  • History was made- Whether it was Colorado, the Kansas City suburbs of Kansas, Pennsylvania, Iowa, or any number of places, history was made. “Firsts” were made all over the country.
  • You saw the future- The re-alignment we are in is showing the long-term future. The House will be more Democratic If suburban, educated whites are coming over. The Senate will be more Republican as the population becomes more lopsided.

With all of that, it’s worth understanding- things change fast. No one saw Hillary losing in the Rust Belt until the ground had shifted. The last two years were very unique. The next two are likely to be, as well.

The Mid-Terms Are Over

Last night was a great night for me personally, and actually a really good night for Democrats nationally, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Democrats should be really happy though. Donald Trump should be really not happy.

The Democrats thumped the Republicans in the House. They pulled back the Rust Belt. If last night’s map is the 2020 map, they win.

Yes, the Democratic heroes, people like Beto, Gillum, and Abrams, they all lost. What can we learn from that? Florida, Georgia, and Texas are all crappy states politically, and the 2020 Democratic nominee is not going to win them. Second, we should understand that our base, unlike their base, can’t be what carries us to victories. Third, we win when the discussion is about what we’re going to do for people. Health care, schools, jobs, infrastructure- when that’s the focus, we win. All of these candidates were talking about these things, but the national conversation of making history, and changing the country, that took over those races. We lost then.

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From a personal standpoint, it was a great night. We picked up four Republican seats in the North Carolina House and Senate last night in Mecklenburg County, helping break the Republican supermajority in Raleigh. We’re down 52 votes in a fifth. Anita Earls is the newest Judge of the North Carolina Supreme Court, and she won big here. All told, Democrats won at least eight seats in the North Carolina House. We needed four House seats to give Governor Cooper his veto pen back.

How did we do so well? Schools, health care, infrastructure, jobs, health care. Nothing sexy, nothing controversial, nothing flashy. We ran on the building blocks. We won.

Up north, I was once again overseeing PA Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski’s re-election. He faced his strongest challenger to date in long time radio personality Sue Henry. He won with 57% of the vote thanks to a strong TV, mail, and digital campaign that focused on only three things- taxes, education, and health care. Message discipline was key, and it worked.

Aside from those races, some other races went well that I had more than a passing interest in. My old boss Bob Menendez won another term in New Jersey. PA Rep. Maureen Madden, who I’ve done some work for, won another term surprisingly easily. Susan Wild will be my Congresswoman now, winning the PA-7 race. Of course, Bob Casey and Tom Wolf won easily too.

There were a few disappointing results to me personally. Amy Cozze ran a great campaign to be my representative in Harrisburg, but came up short. Here in Charlotte, it looks like we are slightly behind in NC’s 9th Congressional district for Dan McCready.

I guess you have to lose sometimes.

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Democrats won 23 out of 35 Senate races last night, but had a terrible night. Imagine that. There was exactly one blue state Republican up for re-election last night, and we beat him. Tough political states like Arizona and Florida are heading for re-counts. Texas was competitive. Manchin cruised in West Virginia. But it was a bad night.

Democrats will be in a more substantial hole than expected after this, and Donald Trump will get more judges, bottom line. But here’s the good news- 2020 is a good map for Democrats. The class of 2014 has to defend their seats. Democrats can absolutely win back the Senate, if Chuck Schumer can stay out of his own way and avoid a third straight poor performance.

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That appears to be the biggest news of the night. Democrats have won 221 seats so far, with 19 remaining on the board. I had originally predicted they would win 30, then upped my prediction to 35. They currently have won 28.

To avoid any chaos or confusion, Democrats could use a few more seats. If they get to about 230, they can let some members who promised not to vote for Pelosi to do so. That would help everyone.

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Democrats had a pretty good night at the state level, but not quite what one hoped. New Democratic Governors are coming into office in Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, New Mexico, and Nevada, netting five seats after losing Connecticut. Even so, you can’t argue with gaining seats.

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More to come later.

5 Hours Out…

We’re six hours from polls closing here in North Carolina, not that I’m counting or anything. Here’s what we know/are hearing…

  • At 7:33am in my home precinct of Palmer Middle-1, Northampton County, PA, turnout was already 54. That’s a swing voting district, in a swing township, of a swing Congressional District, in a swing state. That’s also 33 minutes in.
  • The Department of Justice has election monitors in PA-7.
  • Phone bankers in Florida’s 26th Congressional District are finding “90% of voters on our list say they voted.”
  • Rain has stopped here in the Charlotte area, but it’s still cloudy.
  • A person was killed back home in Northampton County after voting. They were hit by a car after voting.
  • “Inactive voter” status is an issue around Charlotte.
  • Somerset County, NJ reports record vote-by-mail ballots requested and returned, with Democrats enjoying a 2,000 person registration advantage.
  • 36 million voted early.

Go vote.

0- Election Day

I was in an odd place on Election Night of 2002. I was suffering from mono, and had just decided to not try to return to running track and field or cross-country once cleared. I wasn’t playing the drums anymore, and was only about 20 months removed from my last wrestling bout (a 15-0 win), after 11 years in that sport. At that time, I was simply a young political science major, driven mostly by my opposition to the Iraq War and my support for the working class and unionized labor. I had no idea that politics would replace sports and music as the central meaning in my life yet, or the places it would take me. I thought I was majoring in political science at that time as a pathway to law school, not to be heading into 2020 still working on campaigns, but life doesn’t ask permission when moving you in a direction.

What I wouldn’t give to be back on a wrestling mat today, or run down that windy back-stretch on Easton’s track, or jam out on my drum set for a jazz band competition. All of those things once defined me as a person, and their fading from my life is part of why I am where I am this morning- running a regional boiler room, over-seeing the Charlotte area for the Democratic Party. Politics has taken me all over the place, and let me see places and things I never would have expected to see. I’ve managed Congressional, county and State legislative races, been a statewide field director, run a statewide early and absentee vote program, and of course been a regional field director. I’ve worked for members of the progressive caucus in Congress, and downright conservative Democrats. I’ve been exposed to people, places, ideas, and issues that I never would have seen otherwise. Politics has come to re-define who I am, what I am, and how I see the world. It truly filled the voids I previously left.

Father Time is not my friend though. If I want to retire at 65, I need to start moving in that direction sometime soon. Politics, and yes the Democratic Party, have changed a lot since I was a 19 year old intern for the PA Dems coordinated campaign. I don’t honestly know how I feel about it, if I’m honest. It’s not what I signed up for as an anti-war, pro-union youth. At the same time, these values are who I am now, at this point.

I’m not sure how many of today’s I have left. Let’s hope this is enjoyable.

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GOTV is not a place or time for intellectual thought- you just do it. You do your job, as instructed, and just hope it works out. Freelancers who try to do their own thing and be heroes usually end up doing more harm than good. It’s a place for people who are orderly and follow directions. I find that Democrats aren’t so hot at that.

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By 11pm tonight, one of two narratives will take hold:

  1. Democratic passion and enthusiasm, buoyed by anti-Trump fever, swept the nation up in a Blue Wave that at a minimum flipped the House, and maybe more. I also imagine that inside of this narrative will be a sub-story on whether “Berniecrat” lefties or mainstream, establishment figures lead the way, which will shape the opening salvos and days of the 2020 Election.
  2. Donald Trump’s stark rhetoric, his barnstorming schedule, and the awakening of the right-wing over Brett Kavanaugh’s “treatment” by Democrats stoked Republican enthusiasm to perform better than expected. Trump’s tough talk on immigration and Republican tough rhetoric against Democratic candidates in Georgia, Florida, and more saved the day. While many races were tight, Republicans held on in Republican seats. Donald Trump looks nearly impossible to beat.

For what it’s worth, be careful to not over buy on either story. The Democratic “Resistance” of these past two years may or may not work in a mid-term, in which Donald Trump is not actually on the ballot. Either way, that doesn’t mean you should conclude the same for 2020, when the Democrats will have to pick an actual person to run against him.

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Just to make things clear, on no other level has the national political environment helped Democrats as much as the U.S. Senate. We are not talking much today about normally swing state seats like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Virginia. If Hillary had won in 2016, all would be in serious danger today. Even so, the road to winning a majority is brutally hard tonight. Democrats must:

  • Win tough races they currently lead in West Virginia, Indiana, and Montana.
  • Win at least one, if not two of Florida, Missouri, and North Dakota, all of which are within a point leads or much worse.
  • Pick up at least three of Nevada, Arizona, Tennessee, and Texas, all of which are razor close.
  • Get Mississippi to a run-off and hope Republicans pick a nut, if they fall short on any of the above.

To be clear, it’s possible that Republicans pick up like five seats, and Democrats get none of their pick-ups. A 56-44 GOP Senate could happen. By the same token, so could a 53-47 Democratic Senate. Neither seems likely. I still would expect the GOP to hold the Senate with 50-53 seats after this election. That, by the way, is not a bad outcome for the Democrats, relative to where they started the cycle.

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I don’t want to start 2020 before it needs to, but it’s worth noting- not many of the Democratic leading candidates are being invited into swing districts to close. You see some Barack Obama. You see some Joe Biden. You do see some Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, the occasional Elizabeth Warren, and a few others in blue areas to try and bump turnout, but you don’t see them going much to PA-10, NC-9, or any other moderate district we need to win the House. For the most part, this tells me that our field doesn’t have a broad enough audience to win the electoral college in 2020. A majority party that wins elections can win electorates that aren’t fully ideologically aligned with them, especially against a polarizing figure like Donald Trump.

Just saying.

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If Democrats win back the House tonight as expected, it’s important to remember all the points on the road to this victory, beginning with Donald Trump’s victory speech in the early hours of November 9th, 2016 in New York. There was the GOP’s decision to try and repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court striking down their Congressional map and putting their own fair map in place, the GOP pushing through two conservative judges after blocking Judge Garland, Charlottesville, Parkland, many Trump statements, Connor Lamb’s victory, and of course the tax cuts, to name a few moments.

When you watch tonight though, there are some key areas of the country to watch. The Philadelphia, Miami, and San Diego media markets look ripe for big Democratic gains. California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida all look like states where major gains are happening.

What are some districts that Democrats have to win? PA-5, 6, 7, 17, CA-49, NJ-2, 11, AZ-2, CO-6, FL-27, IA-1, IL-6, KS-3, MI-11, MN-2, 3, VA-10, WA-8. These 18 seats are prime pick-ups.

What are the toss-ups that Democrats need to win some of to win back the House? CA-10, 25, 39, 45, 48, FL-15, 26, GA-6, IA-3, IL-14, KS-2, KY-6, ME-2, MI-8, NC-9, 13, NJ-3, 7, NM-2, NY-19, 22, OH-12, PA-1, 10, TX-7, 32, UT-4, VA-2, 7. These 29 seats are where Democrats would tip the House and build their margin.

What seats would signal a huge Democratic wave? There are actually 56 additional GOP seats in their likely or leaning camps, which the Cook political report is still tracking. I can tell you for a fact that at least a couple of these seats are firmly in play after early voting. All told 103 Republicans are waking up in danger today. 80 of them could win, and they would still possibly lose the House. Remember, the Democrats are flat out favored to take 18 of these seats.

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Down here in Charlotte this cycle, things have been eventful. My region has five state House races, all pick-up opportunities. It has two State Senate seats, also pick-ups. We also are doing GOTV for NC-9 on the Congressional level, a pick-up opportunity. It’s nice playing all offense, for a change. I expect us to pick up a State House seat or two, a State Senate seat, and possibly a Congressional seat tonight (though that will be tight). If things go well though, we could easily pick up much more than that. If you’re watching at home, you should keep an eye on HD’s 68, 98, 103, 104, and 105, SD’s 39 and 41, and CD 9.

Back up home, the only work I did for the general was PA HD-121. I have more than a passing interest in PA-115 (did work there last cycle) and 137 (my home district, I tried to push some personal capital with national organizations in there for our nominee). I did some Summer field work on PA’s CD-10 before it was targeted too. I am hoping for a Blue Wave to sweep them all into office.

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My three tiers of potential Democratic Gubernatorial pick-ups tonight:

  • Likely- Maine, Michigan, Illinois, New Mexico
  • Leaning- Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada
  • Possible- Georgia, South Dakota, Kansas, New Hampshire
  • Giant Blue Wave- Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, Arizona

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There’s less good forecasts out there for state legislatures than any other major level of government. Fortunately, the Washington Post recently published an article on this, and named the following chambers as “in play”:

  • Michigan House and Senate
  • North Carolina Senate
  • Maine Senate
  • New York Senate
  • Arizona House and Senate
  • Colorado Senate
  • New Hampshire House and Senate
  • West Virginia House

For what it’s worth, people in North Carolina think the House is at least as much in play. Carl Klarner did the forecasts for the Post, and you should check him out here.

No, Pennsylvania is not on here. Expect solid gains though tonight. I suspect the Democrats will end up with between 92 and 95 House seats, and 20 Senate seats. This puts both chambers at least marginally back in play moving forward.

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Go vote. No, really, do it. Your country needs you, whoever you are. While I have interesting stuff to write here, none of it matters like you doing your civic duty. I have friends who are overseas right now representing our country, the least you can do is go vote.

1

I used to pray for times like this to rhyme like this, so I had to grind like that to shine like this, in a matter of time I spent on some locked up $hit, in the back of the paddy wagon cuffs locked on wrists.

See my dreams unfold, nightmares come true, it was time to marry the game, so I said yeah I do, if you want it you gotta see it with a clear-eyed view…

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Tomorrow is the 2018 Election in the United States of America. Tomorrow, 435 seats in the House, over a third of the Senate, most of the Governors, and almost all of the state legislatures are on the ballot. It is the first federal election held nationally since 11/8/2016, when Donald Trump was elected President by a minority of the people.

I have already cast my ballot in Pennsylvania, by absentee. I hope you will do your civic duty as well. While our democracy can annoy us all, those who don’t participate don’t deserve it.

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One of the amazing things about this election has been the rise of the citizen candidate. Small-business owners, veterans, union guys, and moms are just some of the normal, common people that stepped up to run. It should make you feel better about our democracy, I hope.

There is a flip side that we’ll see tomorrow though- many of them will lose. Even in this wave, this backlash election, over 80% of Congress will return. The percentage in some state legislatures could be higher. Incumbents enjoy huge advantages in American politics.

But- look to the bright side- the energy in this country right now is unprecedented. Let’s see where it goes.

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So I’ve predicted a 50-50 Senate GOP Majority (because of Pence), a 230-205 Democratic House, and a 25-24-1 Democratic split in Governor’s mansions. What if I’m being too conservative? What if a bigger wave hits? What would it look like?

On the Governor side, I said Democrats will win Maine, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, New Mexico, and Nevada. Georgia is obviously very close, but what else would tip? South Dakota is a popular choice, as are Kansas and New Hampshire. Some are hoping Vermont or Arizona get in here, thoug that seems less likely. A dozen Governorships seem possible though, in more than just our dreams.

In the Senate, it feels like the national climate has both already propped up Democrats in a lot of swing and Trump states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. That same climate seems to be hurting Democrats in North Dakota and Missouri trying to save their seats. Could the Democrats win back the Senate though? Obviously a Heitkamp and/or McCaskill win would do wonders for the math. The Democrats have to pick up a net of two seats, which is very hard, but not impossible, even if those two women lose. Any road to a majority begins with wins in Nevada and Arizona late tomorrow night. Then the Democrats would need to flip both Tennessee and Texas- both difficult, but literally tens of thousands of new voters came out of the woodwork to vote early in both seats. Democrats will need to hold their slim leads in Montana, Indiana, and Florida as well, or shock us in a state like Mississippi. On the high end, Democrats could win four seats tomorrow night, and get to 52 Senate seats. That’s the high end though.

Then there’s the U.S. House. I upped my thinking from 30 to 35 in recent days, but what if it’s bigger? What if Pennsylvania supplies five, California six, New Jersey four, Texas four, Florida three, and North Carolina four, just for starters? That’s 26 seats, and an almost certain majority on the backs of six states. There are 44 more states with varying degrees of competitive seats. There are seats in Maine, Michigan, Georgia, Iowa, Colorado, Washington, Kansas, Illinois, New York, and others. There are 100 competitive seats on the board. If the ground moved 3% left in the closing month, as Nate Cohn from the New York Times suggested, the road to 50 seats for Democrats is plausible. A 245-190 Majority is possible.

Obviously the most important, but hardest to forecast races are state legislative ones, and if Democrats are truly successful, they will be the biggest winners. If you start hearing of whole chambers flipping, you’ll know a wave is coming. The over/under here is probably a half-dozen, though that isn’t scientific.

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Today’s GOTV playlist:

  1. Meek Mill- Dreams and Nightmares
  2. Aerosmith- Dream On
  3. Jay Z and Linkin Park- Encore
  4. Linkin Park- In The End
  5. Nas- One Mic

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Lots more tomorrow…

2

Like a fool I went and stayed too long. Now I’m wondering if you’re love’s still strong? Ooh baby, here I am, signed sealed delivered, I’m your’s…

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Where was I ten years ago right now? Ripping shots in the PA HDCC headquarters, watching Barack Obama be declared the winner of the 2008 Presidential Election as the last PA House seats trickled in to give us a 104-99 Majority. It remains an iconic moment in my political memory and life, the moment America overcame an ugly history and elected it’s first African-American President. What’s come since may sew doubts, but make no mistake, that moment will never leave any of us.

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Today’s GOTV playlist:

  1. Stevie Wonder- Signed Sealed Delivered
  2. Aerosmith- Sweet Emotion
  3. Green Day- American Idiot
  4. Red Hot Chili Peppers- Dani California
  5. Drake- Back to Back

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Will the Democrats flip the House? It’s pretty clearly the question of all questions heading into this midterm. Nancy Pelosi has staked her career, reputation, and legacy on it. Democrats have put their heart and soul into it. They need 23 seats to do it, and there’s more than that on the board.

If you use Cook Political report, Democrats are playing offense in the following seats:

  • Likely Dem-4- NJ-2, PA-5, 6, and 17.
  • Lean Dem-13- AZ-2, CA-49, CO-6, FL-27, IA-1, IL-6, KS-3, MI-11, MN-2, 3, NJ-11, PA-7, VA-10.
  • Toss-Up-28- CA-10, 25, 39, 45, 48, FL-15, 26, IA-3, IL-14, KS-2, KY-6, ME-2, MI-8, NC-9, 13, NJ-3, 7, NM-2, NY-19, 22, OH-12, PA-1, TX-7, 32, UT-4, VA-2, 7, WA-8.
  • Lean Republican-28- AK-AL, CA-50, FL-6, 16, 18, GA-6, 7, IA-4, IL-12, 13, MO-2, MT-AL, NC-2, NE-2, NY-11, 24, 27, OH-1, PA-10, 16, SC-1, TX-22, 23, VA-5, WA-3, 5, WI-1, WV-3.
  • Likely Republican-27- AR-2, AZ-6, 8, CA-1, 4, 21, 22, CO-3, FL-25, IN-2, MI-1, 3, 6, 7, NC-8, NY-1, 2, 21, 23, OH-10, 14, OK-5, TX-2, 21, 24, 31, WI-6.

For those of you counting at home, the Democrats are favored in 17 GOP seats, in a straight toss-up for 28, close in 28 more, and have some shot in 27 more, leaving 100 GOP seats out on the field right now. They need the 17 they’re favored in, plus a net of 6 from the remaining 83. By contrast, they should lose PA-14 and MN-8, face a toss-up in MN-1, and have ten seats in range that the GOP is still trying for.

Let’s play fair and say the GOP wins all three toss-up or better Democratic seats, and even two more out of the ten. Democrats would need 28 seats out of 100 in play. Let’s give them the 17 they’re favored in, a quarter of the 28 toss-ups (7), and another 3 from the other 55 in play- so a floor of 27. That would give the GOP a 218-217 House Majority- their best case scenario. That’s possible, maybe as possible as any other scenario, but unlikely. It’s at least as likely the GOP picks up two Democratic seats, loses all 17 they’re supposed to lose, loses half or more (14) of the toss-ups, a quarter of their leaning favorites (7), and 2 they shouldn’t, a net loss of 38 seats.

For now, I’m going with 35 new Democratic House members, and a 230-205 Democratic Majority.

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Tonight’s candidate of the night is a surprise to me- Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for Governor of Florida. Gillum is the Mayor of Tallahassee, was an active surrogate for Hillary, and would be Florida’s first African-American Governor. He’s faced blatant racism, unfair attacks, and an active Donald Trump- but he’s still here. You can donate to Andrew here, or volunteer for him here.

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One of the hardest aspects of this job is the stuff you miss. I missed a buddy’s wedding yesterday. I’ve missed a lot of college football games I was invited to this season. I miss family birthdays, bacon and garlic festivals in Easton, the changing of the leaves back home in Easton- and just the opportunity to lead a normal life. You do so because campaigns are your job, but also because you believe in the people you’re electing.

One of these days, I tell myself, I won’t miss all of this stuff, and my favorite season of the year. Or, maybe, one of these years I won’t believe in the cause, the candidates, as much anymore. This has been an exhausting, draining election cycle, and not nearly as fun of one as years past were for me. I’m not planning on stopping before 2020, and I’m not ever planning on going apathetic, but the best thing I can say for 2018 is that it had to be done, because otherwise we’re heading for rock bottom.

One of these days.

3

I saw her today at the reception, a glass of wine in her hand. I knew she was gonna meet her connection, at her feet was her footloose man.

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Today’s GOTV playlist:

  1. The Rolling Stones- You Can’t Always Get What You Want
  2. Aerosmith- Dream On
  3. Aretha Franklin- R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
  4. Meek Mill- I’mma Boss
  5. Peter Tosh- Legalize It

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The best part of GOTV? Everybody either is slacking off or trying to be the next James Carville. Nobody seems to just stay in their lanes, do their job, and follow directions.

Hence, it’s 11:16pm and I’m writing this.

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Today’s candidate of the day is Rachel Hunt. Rachel is the daughter of a four-term former Governor of North Carolina, a fighter for quality public education, better jobs, and better health care. Rachel wants to make Raleigh work again, for the average people. Donate to help her here. Volunteer here.

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Looking at the Governor’s Mansions, This May be where Democrats make their biggest gains on Tuesday. Despite probably not winning back Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maryland, Democrats are poised for huge victories.

By my count, I favor Democrats in Maine, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida, New Mexico, and Nevada, for a pick up of 9 seats, giving them 25 Governor’s Mansions to 24, with 1 independent. I’m not conceding defeat for Democrats in Georgia, Kansas, South Dakota, and New Hampshire too. It’s going to be a good night for Democrats at the state level.

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Is anyone cooler than Joel Embiid? He had another monster game, with 39 points, 17 boards, and 2 blocks in a win over Detroit. He did so against Andre Drummond, who is actually pretty good. Then he went on social media and dogged Drummond everywhere he could.

The Sixers don’t look like a championship team yet to me, but Embiid looks like he improved- yet again. That’s crazy.

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No feeling bad for Patrick Corbin. The Diamondbacks lefty is about to get paid. With Clayton Kershaw and Cole Hamels getting 3/$93 million and the option year at $20 million respectively, Corbin would seem to be heading towards $25 million a year and five or six years.

Cheers to that.

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Today was Baconfest up in Easton. I’m not there. It’s safe to say I’m jealous.

4

I’ve been going through life, making foolish plans. Now my world is in your hands. Send in the congregation. Open your eyes, step in the lies. The jukebox generation. Just as you were…

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Tonight’s GOTV playlist:

  1. Foo Fighters- Congregation
  2. Eminem- My Name Is
  3. The Rolling Stones- Jumping Jack Flash
  4. Kanye West- Never Let Me Down
  5. The Dropkick Murphys- Shipping Up to Boston

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Tonight’s candidate of the night is Christy Clark, the Democratic nominee here in North Carolina House District 98, North Mecklenburg County. Christy is fighting for quality education, affordable health care, jobs, clean drinking water, stopping gun violence, and voting rights. Endorsed by Emily’s List, Christy has put an entrenched incumbent, in a traditionally red seat in play.

Christy is one of a group of candidates I’ve been down here in the Charlotte area trying to elect. You can donate to her here. You can come down and volunteer by clicking here.

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New York friends- I’ll be in town the 16th and 17th. Come out and join me.

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Tonight’s final GOTV story of time’s past- 2016. It was the worst of times, and the worst of times. I was here in North Carolina, but in the northeastern most 15 counties. The saving grace- waking up some mornings on the bayside of the Outer Banks, or other mornings in an Elizabeth City hotel room, hung over. I built up a lot of character in that election, but all I got to show for it was that I’m back here to get Governor Cooper a better legislature now.

It wasn’t just losing the state for Hillary, or losing the national election, but it was as much the ugly under current I saw here (and across the nation) around that election. Open white nationalism, sexism, and bigotry of all kinds was prevalent. I never had so many organizers and volunteers express fear and anxiety over voter contact.

But other than that, it was a beautiful place, and I saw some amazing sights.

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So the Senate seems pretty straight forward to me: Democrats have to win Nevada for anything to matter, and Republicans are almost certainly winning North Dakota. That probably means the Senate rides on Missouri, Florida, Arizona, and Tennessee. The Democrats probably need to sweep them to win the Senate, or they need a win in Texas, of which I’m still skeptical of (I’m not saying he won’t win, just that I’m a doubter.) Republicans are still hoping to win in Montana, Indiana, and West Virginia, but I don’t see them as likely to do that.

If I were betting today, I’m seeing a 50-50 Senate. Republicans will win North Dakota and Missouri, but lose Nevada, Arizona, and Tennessee. The Senate probably rides on Texas, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, and Arizona this Tuesday.

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Speaking of Missouri, for as much as has changed, that state will still come down to McCaskill winning the pro-life Democrats and suburbanites in St. Louis County (not the city proper). The problem, of course, is that this cycle has seen so much discussion of social issues that I’m just not sure that holds up. Yes, Claire seems to win the close ones. This still feels like the wrong cycle for her.

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Easton won their playoff football game back home tonight, 39-19 over Easton. I saw them play in week two and was impressed. I look forward to seeing them on Thanksgiving.

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Tomorrow will be a busy day, overseeing over 500 canvass shifts from my boiler room. This is the time of year political operatives live for though. All of this Democratic energy from the last two years means nothing if we don’t turn it into seats in Congress and state capitols.