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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.

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Leaving, on a southern train, only yesterday, you lied. Promises of what I seemed to be, only watched the time, go by. All of these, things I said to you.

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There’s a point in every election cycle where everything becomes white noise. Races you know are competitive, some poll says they aren’t. Races you know aren’t competitive, some poll says it is. Polling this late in the game is notoriously tough to believe, so you have to have an eye for what is what.

First, watch less polling and boasting by organizations about “what they’ve done” so far. Watch more for anomalies in early voting and where money moves. Elections aren’t horse races, they’re bean-counting. When resources move, it’s because votes could move.

In other words, let me give you a sleeper- Linda Coleman in NC-2. She’s tonight’s candidate of the night, a late-cycle mover who took some time to catch national eyes. She was recently put on “Red-to-Blue,” and the money has followed her in. Early vote for Democrats and non-white voters are popping in her district. She is the final type of piece in the potential Democratic Wave. Donate to her here. Volunteer for her here or here.

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The other thing to watch in the final days is the tone of Republicans. Back in my home district, my state representative called the Democratic candidate a domestic terrorist. In New Jersey, rich-guy Bob Hugin is drumming up old, discredited attacks alleging Bob Menendez frequented Dominican prostitutes. Donald Trump is talking about a migrant caravan and birthright citizenship. This is all fear-mongering.

But what’s that mean? Don’t just assume this means Republicans are afraid. Let’s not forget, this is what motivates their base voters. They should be running scared, and hopefully are, but this is also what passes as Get Out The Vote for the GOP in 2018.

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I’ll expand on this after the election, but Democratic field campaigns need a serious overhaul moving forward. It’s time to get organizers off of doors more, change their metric goals from dials to volunteers recruited, realize hitting doors more is good, that “street money”/paid canvass operations are not bad, but also that you need to give volunteers more options than just canvassing. Not all volunteers are able to go knock doors.

The one other piece we need to consider is who we spend our time on. We spend a ton of time mobilizing new and inconsistent voters, but we actually lost 2016 because some historically Democratic voters turned on us. It’ll be a while before we can nationally try to just forget about them- and we probably ethically shouldn’t then.

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GOTV Playlist-

  1. Stone Temple Pilots- Interstate Love Song
  2. Pearl Jam- Black
  3. Notorious B.I.G.- Ten Crack Commandments
  4. The Rolling Stones- Angie
  5. Jay Z- Encore

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Barring a recount I have to work, the plan for my DC Friends is to be in DC by the night of 11/15 for a night out. I haven’t decided yet if it will be on the Hill or in town.

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I love my Phillies, but one of the things we are going to find out this Winter is if they love themselves. They’re a cash-rich franchise, in a big market, with very little committed payroll in the long term. If they want Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado, they can afford them. Patrick Corbin? Why not. Craig Kimbrel? Absolutely. J.A. Happ, Dallas Keuchel, or Charlie Morton would all be upgrades too.

It’s good business for the Phillies to go sign these guys. Bryce Harper sells tickets. You aren’t going to lose money signing a superstar. With an 80 win team this past season, there’s no reason a big signing can’t thrust the young Phillies into contention.

The question is if they want it as badly as us fans do.

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Tonight’s story of GOTV Past? The Iowa Caucus of 2008. Just after New Year’s, in the bitter cold, we went through the motions of GOTV for Senator Dodd. It was clear we weren’t going to win, but we were hoping for a surprising finish ahead of someone. It didn’t happen. We had walk packets and signs though for people to knock doors or do visibility leading up to the caucus. Some folks came down from Connecticut. The most intense part was coaching our captains on making a deal with the other campaign of their choice, in hopes of getting a delegate.

I remember emailing a friend the morning of the Caucus, predicting an Edwards, Clinton, Obama finish. If turnout had been a normal 125k, I was right. It was 250k caucusers who attended that night. I was in Grinnell, at the college that night, and witnessed an insane turnout. It was a liberal enough site that Hillary didn’t even win a delegate. That was kind of the story that night.

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So Long, Old Friend

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In 2007, I moved to Iowa to work for Senator Chris Dodd. I was the regional field director for twelve counties for the Senator, the second largest of which was Cerro Gordo County. Cerro Gordo County is the home of Mason City and Clear Lake, and Buddy Holly died there in a plane crash. That’s about all I knew about it then.

Fortunately, I met some great people there. One of them was the Democratic Party’s Chairman in the county, John Stone. About once a week, I would drive up to see him, sitting in his shop and talking with him for an hour or so. The man was a wealth of knowledge. He also served as a good sounding board on who I should talk to, and who really wasn’t going to be helpful. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know a damn thing about the Midwest when I moved there, in fact I had barely ever been there, but John taught me a lot about it. While he ultimately didn’t support my candidate in the end, John ended up being a huge help to me.

John passed on yesterday. I never got back up to Mason City, though he and I had become Facebook friends in the years since then. He was 71. While it’s been years since I visited, I’ll never forget the help he was for me. He’ll be missed.