Friday, February 09, 2007

How to Win the White House in 2008 - An Open Letter to the Democratic Party

Dear Chairman Dean:
I am a political activist, expert, and enthusiast. I closely followed every senate and gubernatorial race in 2006, run a blog on the 2008 elections, check all the polls daily, and crunch data for fun. I was recently examining some charts on, an incredible database of election history, and realized something crucial. I have known for years about the embarrassingly low turnout in elections, but I had not realized how much this could be used to the Democrats’ advantage.
It is a rule of thumb in American politics that the higher the turnout, the more likely the democrats are to win. This comes from one undisputed fact: There are many more Democrats than Republicans, but many Democrats do not vote. This is not a fresh observation; I myself phone-banked for the’s Call for Change in 2006, but get-out-the-vote operations are not what we need now. Many states such as Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and even Tennessee have upwards of 20% of potential voters not even registered. These three states have enormous black and Hispanic populations, which account for most of the 20%. Nationwide, these demographic groups vote for Democrats by huge margins. If the Democratic Party could somehow register this 20%, Rock-the-Vote and similar operations would become much more effective, as the pool of potential voters would become larger and more democratic.
I fed the U.S. Election Atlas data into my computer, and got a list of states in which active voter registration is needed. I came up with a list of 10 states to focus on, in no particular order:

1. Arkansas – Democratic governor…82% of Voting Age Population is registered
2. Washington – Democratic governor…76% of Voting Age Population is registered
3. New Mexico – Democratic governor…80% of Voting Age Population is registered
4. Tennessee – Democratic governor 75% of Voting Age Population is registered.
5. Florida – 79% of Voting Age Population is registered
6. Arizona – Democratic governor…65% of Voting Age Population is registered
7. Nevada - 65% of Voting Age Population is registered
8. Oregon – Democratic governor…79% of Voting Age Population is registered
9. Colorado – Democratic governor…71% of Voting Age Population is registered
10. Texas - 69% of Voting Age Population is registered

None of these states are beyond the Democrats' reach; 9/10 of them voted for Clinton at some point. Texas is swinging back into the competitive column, with Chris Bell putting up a tough fight in 2006 and Barbara Radnofsky preparing a strong Senate campaign against unpopular Senator John Cornyn in 2008.
Seven of the ten states have Democratic governors, making statewide registration programs easier, but efforts can still be made in the three other states through federal and state legislation. This legislation could expand and improve the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (Motor Voter) to become as efficient as possible. As the 2008 elections draw closer, it is crucial to enlarge the pool of potential voters, especially in close states. New Mexico has been within 6000 votes in the past two elections. A handful of high school students registering their peers could make the difference of five electoral votes; and this is the best place to start. Every year, millions of high school students come of voting age, but not all register. The ones not to register are likely to be more progressive than the rest. We can use youth groups to educate high school students about the importance of voting and give ourselves an advantage that will last for literally generations. Many do not want to take the time or energy to find out how, thinking it is a long and tedious process. This is not so. Having registered people myself in 2004, all you need to know is your name, address, and Social Security number. The entire process takes no more than 3-5 minutes. We need to bring people everything they need to get involved in the process without the headache of paperwork. The only way to make this work is to start on a grassroots level, showing people how and why to register, one community at a time.
In this coming election the west and southwest will be the prime battleground, and the likely nomination of Arizona Senator John McCain could push the region to the right. If the Democrats are to become a truly national party, the 50 State Strategy should start with square one: Universal registration. Youth groups, such as the Young Democrats of America, can work with young voters, coordinated with state and national party leaders. As Thomas Jefferson once said, "We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate." Let’s give everyone the option of participating.

-The Political Oompah-Loompah

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Edwards Announces

Finally! Something more exciting than endless lists of Exploratory Committees. Today, December 28, John Edwards announced he is running for president. He did it in an unusual place, New Orleans' Ninth Ward, which was completely destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. Edwards pledged to do five things:
  • Guarantee everyone health care
  • End Poverty
  • Lead the Fight Against Global Warming
  • Breaking the American and World Addiction to Oil
  • Providing Moral Leadership: Starting with getting out of Iraq
These will work very well in Iowa, where Edwards is loved and "Oil addiction" is code for "ethanol production". Iowa is made of corn, so naturally he does well there.

Early Iowa Poll Shows Surprising Results

KCCI-TV/Research 2000 has conducted a poll of Iowans asking them for whom they will vote in the 2008 caucuses. The Democratic voters chose this:

Barack Obama.................22%
John Edwards..................23%
Hillary Clinton................10%
Al Gore.............................7%
John Kerry.......................5%
Dennis Kucinich..............4%
Wesley Clark...................4%
A bunch of people with less than 1%.

Prediction: Vilsack gets 10%. Gore doesn't run: Hillary gets 5% and Obama gets 2%. Kerry doesn't run and Hillary gets his 5%. Edwards loses 8%: 6% goes to Hillary and 2% goes to Obama. Obama loses 5-7% to Hillary. Undecideds move to Hillary and Obama. Final Result:
Hillary Clinton...............38%
Barack Obama...............25%
John Edwards................15%
Tom Vilsack...................10%
Dennis Kucinich..............4%
Wesley Clark...................3%
Joe Biden.........................3%
Others with less than 1%.

Republicans chose:
John McCain...................27%
Rudy Giuliani..................26%
Mitt Romney...................9%
Newt Gingrich.................7%
Condi Rice........................4%
Others with less than 1%.

Prediction: Romney's stock will double without hurting anyone, McCain's stock will fall 5-10%, Condi Rice won't run and her 4% will go to Romney. Romney and McCain take 10% each of Giuliani's showing. Final Result:
Mitt Romney....................36%
John McCain....................32%
Rudy Giuliani...................10%
Newt Gingrich.................10%
Sam Brownback...............5%
Mike Huckabee................5%
George Pataki..................1%

Gilmore Files

Former Governor Jim Gilmore (R-VA) announced that he will run for president in 2008. The move caught everyone off guard, as most were expecting he would reseek the governorship in 2009. Expect him to do well in the South, and make a minor impact. He comes in behind Sam Brownback in the rankings.

New Jersey Passes Gay Rights Law

The New Jersey State legislature passed a bill that would grant gay couples equal rights. It was passed overwhelmingly in both houses, and Governor Jon Corzine (D-NJ) announced he would sign it.

Prediction: When Massachusetts did something similar, people wrote it off. With another state following suit, expect a few more states to legalize gay marriage and grant them rights within the next few years. It will be an issue in 2008.

Senator Johnson Has Stroke


Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) suffered what looked like a stroke while giving an interview. He was taken to the hospital, where he was placed under intensive care. He had emergency brain surgery that night. If he is unable to serve, the governor of South Dakota, Republican Mike Rounds, will appoint the next senator. If Rounds was to appoint a republican, it would tie the senate and (because of vice president Cheney) effectively hand it back to the republicans.

Kucinich Announces Candidacy

No explanation needed.

Romney Nailed on Gay Marriage


In 1994 Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) wrote a letter to the log cabin republicans. In it, he makes several statements that imply his support in gay marriage, especially the federal "don't ask, don't tell" policy when he wrote it, "will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation’s military". Conservative leaders immediately began to express doubts. However, he did get the endorsements of Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and Florida State House Speaker Allan Bense.

Brownback Starts Exploratory Committee


Jeez, I'm getting really tired of all these exploratory committees. At least this one is kind of interesting: on Brownback's steering committee are Former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, Domino's (pizza chain) founder Tom Monaghan, and the Reverened Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life. Daniel Owen of pointed out that it sounds like a fun-filled weekend. Brilliant Observation.

Bayh Starts Exploratory Committee

Evan Bayh, preparing to position himself as the best alternative to Hillary Clinton, defended his position, saying,
"As the people get to know me, I think we'll do very well ... Is this a little bit like David and Goliath? A little bit, but as I recall, David did OK." Bayh would later drop out after it appeared that Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) would run. Obama has yet to announce as of 12/28/06.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Daschle, Barely In, Is Out


There have been murmurs in the blogosphere of a return for former Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), but he squashed the rumors once and for all, saying, "I've had a lot of encouragement" but "...I will not seek the Presidency of the United States." Either way, being such a nobody from such a small state, he would not last long.

Tancredo Embarrasses Himself in Florida


Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) made some very foolish comments in the battleground state of Florida on the 29th. He compared Miami to a "Third-world country" and the people went berserk. Governor Jeb Bush demanded Tancredo apologize. Instead, Tancredo wrote a fiery response, defending his comments and criticized the governor for being "naive". He may have guts, but he doesn't have brains, this Tancredo.

Carter Obsessed With Gore

Former President and Nobel Laureate Jimmy Carter (D-GA) said on Hardball with Chris Matthews that his favorite candidate is definitely Al Gore (D-TN). Supposedly Carter has been bothering Gore to run, although he has already said he will pass on the race.

Gore is the strongest Democrat. He deserves the presidency, having won it before. He comes without the negative connotation of Hillary Clinton but with presidential campaign experience before. He ran such a bungled campaign, and he still won the popular vote, that if he tries to fix his mistakes of the past, he will run the strongest campaign.

Frist Gives Up

Outgoing Senator Bill Frist (R-TN), who has been preparing for a 2008 white house run for 12 years, has decided to pass on the race. This far into the campaign season, he had expected to have support, but it appears that his lack of charisma and loyal followers was hurting him a lot. On the 29th, he pulled the plug.

Hoyer is Majority Leader, Lott Becomes Whip

Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) supported John Murtha (D-PA) for the position of Majority Leader, but ethical issues arising over Murtha caused the House Dem caucus to choose former minority whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) instead. Pelosi made a smart political move, getting the alliance of Murtha from gratitude, and Hoyer because she's the boss. Very clever, Pelosi. . . The Republicans chose Trent Lott (R-MS) to be their next senate minority whip. Yes, the same Trent Lott that made the racist comments at Strom Thurmond's 100th Birthday party. Yes, the same Trent Lott that was kicked out of leadership for the same. He's back with the same weird hair.


Thompson Starts Exploratory Committee


Way back in February when I started the blog, I singled out Tommy Thompson as the dark horse to watch. He's got a lot of experience and he's from a good state. I put him at 4th. Now things are different. Romney is serious, and so is Giuliani. Gingrich came out of no where. Two weeks after this Frist will drop out. However, I'd still put him at fifth or sixth. I'll put up full rankings a little later, as well as a poll. Ron Gunzberger of isn't nuts about his chances, but ranks him at 6. Gingrich is #4, so he comes in at 5 or 6. Overall chances of getting the nomination: maybe 4 or 5 %, but that's better than a bunch of others: Tancredo, Hunter, and Pataki to name a few, and arguably Sam Brownback. It doesn't really matter.

McCain Sets Up Exploratory Committee


Senator John McCain (R-AZ) confirmed on TV that he would set up his exploratory committee. No surprise here.

Mehlman Quits, Bush Picks Martinez

11. 13.06

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman resigned his position after losing both houses of congress and being outed as gay (Melhman led the fight against gay rights). President Bush picked Florida Senator and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Mel Martinez. Clearly, even after Hispanic voters turned out in droves for democrats in 2006, the Republican party still thinks it can win their votes.

Giuliani Starts Exploratory Committee


Rudy Giuliani, expected by many to pass on this race and accept the vice-presidential slot, filed his exploratory committee. Although many still insist he will decide against a run, a McCain-Romney-Giuliani (and possibly)-Gingrich fight would turn very nasty, as all are so vulnerable to attack by the base.

Vilsack Announces

The almost completely unknown Governor Tom Vilsack (D-IA) announced the day after the midterm elections that he will be a candidate for president in 2008. Although he may seem to be a major contender as Iowa has the first caucuses, he scores a meager 10% in most polls. For now, assume he does okay in Iowa and then disappears completely in New Hampshire.

Duncan Hunter Announces. Nobody Cares.

Duncan Hunter announced he was running for president. He was then the House Armed Services Committee Chair. Now he is the Ranking Minority member. It doesn't matter. After serving 14 terms in congress, nobody has ever heard of him. Expect him to have an impact of exactly zero on the primary: assuming he doesn't do the smart thing and just pull the plug.

Feingold Drops Out

To the dismay of many liberal bloggers, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) announced that he will not seek the presidency. An outspoken liberal voice in the senate, Feingold wanted to be a part of the new democratic majority. It would always have been an uphill battle, and his entry would have set the blogosphere on fire: right underneath Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Warner Drops Out - Two Months Ago

Hi yall. On October 12th Mark Warner announced that he will not be a candidate for president in 2008. In protest, (but mainly to follow the midterms) I abandoned the blog for two months. Coming back, so much has happened. The fields have shifted. I will try to recreate what has happened. I've got a lot of work. But first . . .

Sorry. I followed these for 18 months. I knew every candidate in every race, their bios, issue positions, and poll showings in every poll you can think of and a bunch you can't. We did it.

I am not usually partisan like this, but once every ten years or so I have a right to brag.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

O'Reilly Behind Romney

In a new development, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said that Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is his favorite republican against Hillary Clinton in 2008. Although Rudy Giuliani and John McCain are winning in every poll, Romney is positioning himself as the anti-McCain, and it may well pay off. One of the interesting parts of this story is that all the republicans are acting as if Hillary Clinton is definitely going to get the
Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA)
nomination. As I have pointed out in the past, she would not be
the strongest candidate. That distinction would fall to Mark Warner or John Edwards. It is quite likely that Clinton will either not run for or not win the nomination, and it is a fascinating tactic on the part of the republicans to pretend that she will definitely win. It is a strange and unusual voter intimidation tactic, because usually parties don't try to mess with the outcome of another party's primary. This suggests that they think that the only Democrat they can beat is Hillary Clinton, and their only hope is to get people who would have voted for Warner or Edwards to stay home.
They have also taken it one step further. For months now, conservative pundits have never missed an opportunity to point out that Hillary would be an extremely dangerous opponent. Think what you may, I just don't buy that. If they were so afraid of her they would be discounting her. It's a sign of their fear of the rest of the democratic field that they pretend they don't exist. Get the real article here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Warner Talks Homeland Security in Las Vegas

Wednesday, Former Governor Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, campaigned in Nevada, giving a speech in Las Vegas where he said that the cuts in the city’s homeland security funding was result of, “Misplaced priorities.” He also campaigned for the democratic nominee for governor, Dina Titus. Nevada will have the second caucuses in 2008. Interested? Find out more here.