Thursday, February 22, 2018

What winning Democratic campaigns look like in 2018


This past week, Democrats did it again, seeing their candidate win a special election in Kentucky in a state legislative race -- in a district Donald Trump carried 68-32. This was the 37th seat that Democrats have flipped since November 2016.

Jessica Post, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, described succinctly to Greg Sargent what's working for Democrats in these contests. No one factor is enough to get the winners over the top.

Democratic voters are “furious and want an outlet. So they’ll knock on the doors of other Democrats who are also furious. And then Democrats are turning out in huge numbers,” Post says.

“Meanwhile, the candidate is talking to independents about local issues that really matter to their community, disconnected from Washington.” The result has been a “rebalancing,” in which districts that went heavily for Trump in 2016, washing out Dem local candidates, are now seeing quality Dem candidates reassert the Democratic brand.

Grassroots enthusiasm means that volunteers will eagerly swell an organized effort to make sure more nominal Democrats vote.

And candidate quality counts; a standard bearer who knows the district and can engage intelligently with people looking for answers can reach unaffiliated voters. Such candidates are stepping up in droves and often can raise enough money to field a credible campaign.

Looking good, but there's no room for slacking off until the midterms are in the bag.

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