Demographics Won’t Save Us

Three facts:

  1. America is roughly a quarter century from the projected point where white people are no longer the majority.
  2. In 2040, roughly twenty years from now, half the country will live in eight states (CA, TX, FL, NY, IL, PA, NC, GA).
  3. When the country becomes majority-majority, at least 37 states will be majority white. That’s total population. Even more states will likely be majority white voters.

With those three facts, I think it is safe to say that demographics are not destiny. In 2020, demographics are a very real threat to actually doom the Democrats. Considering how far we are from reaching the point where current demographic politics tilt the other way, it’s fair to say that many of us will never see that day.

It’s also important to remember all the danger that can get done along the way. We’ve already seen the Voting Rights Act gutted of much of it’s enforcement powers, and now we’re seeing a real attempt to drive down Latino participation in the census by adding a “citizenship question.” If the Trump Administration is successful at curtailing legal immigration through draconian methods, including ending the lawful act of seeking asylum as we know it, the demographic future Democrats spoke of in the Obama years may be dramatically different. Couple all of this with Trump having won white millennials, and you can see the storm clouds.

All of this leads me to my main point here- Democrats shouldn’t rely on demographics saving them in 2020 or beyond. They need only look at their 2018 message and coalition to see their path forward to winning elections. It’s not division, but actually a broad agenda of progress. It’s not choosing who gets progress, but offering progress to the whole nation. This is hard for many activists, who deeply want to see accountability for the current disaster that is the GOP, and it’s voters. That’s a road to nowhere though. That’s not understanding why we lost in 2016. That’s believing that being right is more important than being practical. We should reject it.

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A Bold New World View, Part 5- The Parties

Read Part 1 here.

Read Part 2 here.

Read Part 3 here.

Read Part 4 here.

Steak or fish. A or B. Black or White. American politics is somewhat limiting and constrained. Our political system has been built for stability, not for passions of the moment. From our constitution to our election laws, the idea is to eventually get to something almost like a consensus. Having two parties to choose from increases the likelihood of that.

But really though, what are our political parties? Political parties, in the official sense, are the committee people who make them up. In most cases, you elect your county party committee at the precinct level, and your state committee people at a county level, or some other higher political division level. The DNC and RNC members are chosen by state party and elected leaders. In an official sense, both parties are people chosen directly and indirectly by the voters. In reality, parties are a lot more.

In the case of both parties, there are two other groups with very direct power and oversight in the parties- elected officials and major donors. Elected officials are elected directly by the public, get to set policies that usually end up as party policy, and most importantly get to hand out appointments and jobs- all the stuff the party faithful care about. Major donors have a ton of influence, because elections cost money. As long as TV, mail, internet ads, canvass programs, offices, and staff cost money, donors will exist. Candidates who can’t raise any money, and parties for that matter, can’t tell anyone why they’re great and deserve your votes. Both of these groups have a ton of sway over political parties, and how they’re going to operate.

The thing about all three of these groups though is that they combine to make up less than 1% of both our 320 million plus population, and our 135 million actually active voters. In other words, they can’t make our political system run on their own. In fact, they can’t even run the political parties on their own. They’re all indispensable, and yet entirely inadequate to drive our politics in 2019.

The great divergence of the two political parties occurs at this point- who the base, or activists are. For the Republicans, they are an alliance of groups- big businesses, military hawks, Christian conservatives, and other traditionalist groups (generally white and male)- who generally share an ideological view. For the Democrats, they are a coalition of groups who often don’t completely share ideological positions- African-Americans, leftists, feminists, labor, Latinos, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, the LGBT community, and many other change related groups. All members of the Republican alliance are conservatives, or part of the right, usually. Not every group in the Democratic coalition is part of “the left” though, at least in the eyes of the others. Member groups of the Republican alliance can move further right without fear of alienating the other partners, in part because they all agree generally in their world view, and in part because they all oppose the direction of Democrats, pretty much at their core. When some groups within the Democratic coalition move right or left, they draw the ire of other partners.

Obviously this doesn’t cover every voter in both parties, which speaks to the general dislike of politics that many people feel. Many voters end up picking the lesser of the two evils because they’re not very ideological themselves, or they don’t fit perfectly in any of these boxes, or they dislike one or two groups on their side. In normal elections, these voters end up as swing voters, up for grabs to the candidate willing to come get them. In recent elections, particularly 2016, these voters end up pressed into “their” corner- happy about it or not.

Our two party system leaves a lot to be desired in recent times, but it’s also the greatest tool for stability this country has seen. Ironically, displeasure for the increasingly polarized positions of the two parties may end up changing that in the near time. Even if the parties end up going the way of the Whigs though, we have a system that is built to accommodate two.

A Bold New World View, Part 4- Who Decides

Read Part 1 here.

Read Part 2 here.

Read Part 3 here.

Yesterday the Democrats officially took the House. Before yesterday, there were 195 Democrats in the House, now there are 40 more. Where did these 40 new seats come from?

They were not seats won in the Democratic base- urban America- for the most part. They also were mostly not in rural America, where Republicans clean up on whiter votes. Most of these new members (not all) are coming from suburban and even a few exurban districts. They’re not coming from previously safe “blue” districts, but districts that have shown a tendency towards moderacy and swing-voting.

American elections are generally decided in semi-affluent, higher educated areas. Suburban counties around Philadelphia, Cleveland, Miami, Raleigh, Washington, Des Moines, and Detroit tend to decide Presidential elections. Many of the districts that flipped in Congress and state legislatures in 2018 were in those same areas. These voters decide most of our elections.

This is not to say that a Presidential candidate should not seek to stoke their base voters to increase turnout, and/or seek to cut margins in the opposition’s strong turf. It’s to say that Presidents who win that way are not building a governing coalition. Winning with your base isn’t strengthening your party’s fortunes in the swing districts that decide partisan control in the legislatures. Without strong legislative majorities, you cannot pass laws and make changes.

Who are these voters? They’re college educated. They don’t live higher taxes, but do like good public services. They’re not very fond of the blatant racism, sexism, and bigotry of Trump. They tend to believe in science. They tend to not support “big government” or socialism. While not as diverse as the big cities, they’re not as lily white as “the sticks.”

These are the places that handed Donald Trump a beating in 2018, but Hillary didn’t spend enough time on in 2016. They’re the small cities of Pennsylvania, like Allentown, Reading, Bethlehem, or Scranton. They’re the suburban areas in Milwaukee County. They’re the suburban areas around Charlotte in Mecklenburg County, and the suburban counties around Raleigh, and even in Wake County. They’re obviously the areas outside of Detroit, within that metro market.

I’m not suggesting it’s an “or” choice. Should a Democratic nominee in 2020 campaign in Charlotte or Matthews? Philadelphia or Allentown? Milwaukee or Janesville? My answer is both. My answer is talk about the things that are applicable, and go to both. Campaign to your base, but also talk to and about things that matter to the voters who are up for grabs.

There are those that disagree, either because of perceived practical problems with it, or an ideological bias towards a particular base of voters. My suggestion is that they are incorrect in their view of the electorate, and in the pathway forward. Many of the areas that flipped or went more Democratic from 2016 to 2018 got an increase of campaign action and attention this time. Issues of importance to them- like health care- were now front and center. It’s not that they like or dislike either party’s base, but mostly that they have different issues.

Finally, there is a belief by some that demographics will simply change American politics in due time. It’s true- by 2045, the nation will be majority-minority, though it will remain plurality white for some time after that. Even as that happens, at least 37 states will remain majority white, and even more will be plurality white. Half the country will live in eight states. The voting population is likely to be even whiter than this. By the time the voters of America are a more diverse majority, many of us are likely to be very old, or even dead. Diversity will move the nation, but not as fast and dramatically as some believe.

Elections are not decided where either major party would generally like. They’re not decided among the activists. They’re decided among voters who are less ideological. Winning them over takes a more complex, higher political messaging. This makes a lot of political people uncomfortable.

One Month of Christmas, Day 6

Good evening, today is Friday, November 30th. There are 25 days until Christmas. Here’s today’s thoughts…

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Rudolph is Fine, Get a Life

So apparently, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer isn’t good to show to kids. Why? Apparently showing the other reindeer bullying Rudolph is bad for kids. I kid you not.

This is part of why America hates liberals. Bullying is something that goes on in life. Will against it if you like, it will still be there generations after I’m dead. In this particular case, the victim at least ends up being beloved and popular, a powerful lesson to kids that bullying is stupid. That kid you’re bullying will grow up to make you feel foolish for being a jerk.

Honestly, people need to get a life.

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Holy Commercialism, Aerosmith

I just watched Aerosmith’s “Dream On” in a Tiffany and Co. commercial. Aside from my burning disdain for jewelry companies, good for them. Except that I recently saw another of their songs, “Livin’ on the Edge,” in a smart phone commercial. Oh, and Aerosmith will be “in residency” in Las Vegas next year.

As they approach their 50th anniversary together, Aerosmith is clearly cashing in. And you know what, good. Bands shouldn’t feel bad about making money off their music. It just feels like Aerosmith is going to hit gold here in the next few months.

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Yes to Woodstock 2019

Yeah, sure, Woodstock 1999 was kind of a shitshow. Sure, they burned some stuff. Sure, there were kind of, sort of rioting. But we have had a 20 year timeout. And dammit, 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock.

I not only want a 2019 Woodstock, but I want the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day back there. I want to see the bad behavior surrounding both’s Woodstock performances repeated. I’m totally in for it.

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#NC09 is a Real Mess

The only race we were involved in on Election Day in Mecklenburg County, NC that didn’t end in victory was the 9th Congressional District race. We won Mecklenburg County for Democrat Dan McCready by a comfortable margin, but the final count has put him down by 905 votes. He conceded the day after, and the race seemed over.

I have to say it *seemed* over. We now know that foul play seems to have been going on, in a county well East of where I was. In Bladen County, an individual named Leslie McRae Dowless, the Soil & Water Commissioner, worked for Mark Harris’ Congressional campaign. In that county, Harris got 61% of the mail-in ballots, but only 19% of the voters who mailed in ballots were Republicans. The North Carolina State Board of Elections now has affidavits, signed by voters that Dowless’ had people going door to door to pick up ballots and “mail them in” for them. In some cases his people filled in ballots for people, in other instances they discarded ballots for Dan McCready. Dowless standed to make a $40,000 bonus if Harris won. It appears he may have broken some rules to get it.

If that’s so, these election results cannot be certified.

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We’ll be back at it tomorrow…

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.

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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…