Creative corner

    Close defeat in Kansas

    The dem lost by about  53 to 46. In Nov the rep carried this  seat by about 30 points.

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    Hopefully the same energy can be put into Georgia next week. 


    Please post these blips as "In the News" items, not "From the Readers" where we're expecting some kind of extended reader essay.

    Thanks, PP


     Coulda Woulda Shoulda—Democrats Miss a Huge Opportunity in Kansas.  The DCCC barely lifted a finger to help James Thompson. He almost won anyway.


    His campaign was crowd sourced by Our Revolution. He ran a Bernie like issue campaign in a ruby red district. Reddit members helped with phone banking as well as donating.  Thompson has announced he will run in the 2018 election again for that seat. .  

    We are going to see the majority of the congressional seats challenged by campaigns like this in 2018 from candidates that are crowd sourced  by Our Revolution and Justice Democrats. They already have candidates vetted and getting them trained on how to campaign. They are also working on state level seats. Money is already being raised in a general fund pacs.  It will be an interesting election cycle. 


    Democrats especially on the left are indulging in their favorite fantasy. That this is going to flip quickly and easily. I read all the hype about the huge opportunity in Kansas and never believed a word of it. I don't believe a word of the hype about Ossoff in Georgia even though he's less of a long shot than Thompson. This is likely to be a long hard slog and if democrats don't face that reality we're looking at a big loss of morale when the losses come and possibly a loss of energy and engagement. We'll see I guess, maybe Ossoff will win. But I doubt it.


    Thompson got close. He did so without help from the Democratic establishment according to the article. It is easy to believe that he would have done better with some help, maybe he could have got over the top. That is not a fantasy about flipping elections everywhere quickly and easily, it is a report on how a single election might have been flipped but for the fact that the backup team did not do any backing up. I have not been following Ossoff's campaign. I don't know if he is getting any help from the DNCC or not. I would expect his chances to win as part of this long hard slog to be better if he is getting some support. I would also expect that seeing a candidate get close who might have won except for lack of support by the national organization pledged to help Democrats win could hurt morale among some Democratic Party voters too.  


    Close is a subjective term. When Hillary beat Trump by 2 points that was a close election. Close enough that out of 129 million votes cast about 80 thousand gave Trump an electoral college win. When Thompson lost by 7 it doesn't seem close to me nor do I think it's likely a large infusion of cash would have closed that large a gap. YMMV, but if 7 points is a close election exactly how big must the gap be before you decide it wasn't close? It will take a miracle for dems to take back the senate in 18 and it's probably less than a 50/50 chance to take back the house. That's the reality as it sits right now. A 7 point loss isn't an indication that reality is changing.

    eda: Why would you want Thompson to take DNC money when that money is mostly large donations and corporate money? Didn't Sanders prove that democrats don't need to take donations of more than $27? What is wrong with Thompson that he didn't get enough small donations?


    "Close" also involves the message you want to send to Democratic & fence-sitting voters, and the message it sends for next election and the one after and the one after.

    Thompson isn't Bernie, and shouldn't be automatically saddled with issues you or I took away from last year's campaign. The idea of showing small donations make a difference and non-monied people make a difference is a very good one, even if neither of us thinks it sufficient to ward off the Visigoths. 

    Thompson was down by 30 points in the polls 2 months ago and closed it to within 7 - that's good progress. Maybe next time or the time after with the same effort we can flip Kansas.

    Also, these states are not isolated - just as the trends that affected the race in Michigan were also the less-acknowledged trends making Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio shift the same way, efforts in Kansas can influence Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and vice-versa.

    Yes, it might take us 8 years or more to rebuild decent national strength. It's incremental in any case, whatever Trump does, so better to start the baby steps now than Just Give Up.

    It is a question whether a bunch of DNC/DCCC money would dampen the enthusiasm of Thompson's Bernie-fan supporters, or be more neutral - there's a lot of demonizing of the party structure that won't quit, though the idea that $20K was too much for the only contest anytime soon doesn't sit very well - isn't there some big donor in the party stable that can write that amount in his or her sleep? If not, all our talk about "big money in politics" is a huge joke anyway.

     


    What is also important to keep in mind, it is about winning the hearts and minds over and rebuilding the party. This is done by running good campaigns in even ruby red districts like this one right under the Koch bros. noses. Thomas ran with the same issues that Sanders used and must of got some cross over votes because that district is 2:1 ratio in favor of Republicans. The RNC bought a big ad buy at the last minute and did a big mail drop because Estes was in danger of losing.  Democrat state party in Kansas turned down the candidate's request for $20,000 dollars.  He received no help from the party. He is going to keep at it for the midterms.

    I think the reason Sanders is going on tour with the DNC Chair is because it gives him a microphone to keep grass roots issues out front.   


     Democrat state party in Kansas turned down the candidate's request for $20,000 dollars.  He received no help from the party. He is going to keep at it for the midterms.

    During the Kansas special election that was held last Tuesday, nearly all of the independent expenditures came from the Ryan-backed NRCC and CLF, which collectively spent $180,000 to boost Ron Estes, the GOP candidate. 


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